LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- With a soaring murder rate and tragic shootings like the one at a bus stop last week, the community is reeling with sadness, anger and pain. In response, more mental health services are being expedited to west Louisville.

Hosparus Health is partnering with the YMCA at 17th and Broadway to open a permanent grief support center.

"Recent events sped up that process and sped up that conversation," said Tawanda Owsley, senior vice president of Hosparus Health. "Our hearts are with the community as we all collectively grieve the loss of many young people."

Hosparus specializes in grief counseling, end of life care, and support after the trauma of losing a loved one.

"When a child actually witnesses a murder, or somebody in their family get murdered, they don't know how to cope, how to deal with it, and they're holding a lot of anger," said Pastor Leonard Boyd, with Mics Up Guns Down.

Pastors in west Louisville say the community is grieving, and hope more churches step up to support those who need help.

Pastor Bryan Litton of Greater Israel Missionary Baptist Church said suicide rates are up in his congregation in the Russell neighborhood.

"I'm a pastor that believes in faith, that believes in the Bible, that believes in Jesus, I know he can do it," said Litton. "But I also believe that, sometimes, you've got to talk to somebody."

Counseling will be offered at both west Louisville YMCA locations starting next week.

"We know there are community partners out there that have been doing this work for a very long time," said Owsley. "We aren't here to replace anyone. We are here to add an additional layer of support."

The community can express their thoughts and feelings and learn simple techniques for self-soothing at the following times and locations:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 5 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Chestnut Street YMCA in the 6th floor ballroom.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 6 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the West Broadway YMCA in the community room.

No registration is necessary. Following the first two sessions, Hosparus will be available at the West Broadway location for continued support.

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