Brooklyn Parents of Shooting Victims Cope Together

Alice Mckay wearing a shirt with a photo of her 21-year-old son Kameron who was fatally shot in Brownsville almost five years ago. (Photo via Amsterdam News)

For Brooklyn parents struggling to cope after losing children to gun violence, two group therapy programs in Crown Heights have provided an invaluable connection: meeting others who understand what they’re going through. For seven years, Not Another Child and The God Squad have given mental health support to 100 families at Brightpoint Health in sessions led by mothers whose children were killed. Tatyana Bellamy-Walker reports for Amsterdam News:

The groups’ liaisons, Pastor Gil Monrose, Oresa Napper-Williams and Natasha Christopher, occasionally use an on-call psychologist to mediate the conversation.

“It’s a different peace when you’re in the company of survivors,” said [Alice] Mckay, a retired MTA employee from Brownsville, Brooklyn. “If we can’t get these guns off the street, we have to get our people together mentally to heal.”

Napper-Williams, the founder of Not Another Child, a group denouncing gun violence, said the survivors offer comfort.

“I know that a lot of families really think no one can relate,” said Napper-Williams, who lost her 21-year-old son, Andrell, to a stray bullet in 2006. “This is a place where they can let their hair down and say how they feel without being judged.”

Go to Amsterdam News to read more of Mckay’s story – from the nonprofit she started to provided knitted hats to babies to living life “moment-by-moment.”

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