ROCKY MOUNT, Va. – Franklin County Public Safety is helping witnesses process the shock of seeing a traumatic scene unfold.
The agency will soon start handing out "good Samaritan cards" at scenes to people in need. The cards feature a thank you note on one side and the phone numbers of the Franklin County chaplain and the National Suicide Hotline on the other side.
"It gives us an opportunity to reach out and know that we do care about our citizens," said Franklin County Public Safety Director Billy Ferguson. "It's not all about the 911 response, it's about making sure we can help all of our citizens in a cost-effective way."
The cards came about from an idea by the organization Putting A Dent In Mental Health, which normally focuses on the mental health of first responders. Founder Johnathan Smith says it's just as important to make sure civilians are doing well after a traumatic incident.
"You may not be able to get the thoughts out of your mind," Smith said. "This will help you get through that. Even if you don't act as a good Samaritan, it can be hard just witnessing stuff."