Mental health support available for those affected by Armory tragedy

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Following the tragedy that occurred at the Amory on Sunday, the City of Rochester and community leaders are coming together to provide mental health support to anyone affected.

They will be hosting a number of Ubuntu Healing Circles. They are offering a selection of virtual and in-person meetings to provide a safe space for those affected by the tragedy.

“Listen, this thing happened,” says Melanie Funchess, the CEO of Ubuntu Village Works who is helping to run the circles. “It was a horrible tragedy, it was no one’s fault. Instead of looking at who we’re going to blame, let’s look at how are we going to heal as a community. How are we going to do this together and for us to come together- the people who were impacted so you can heal and you can begin to process what happened.

Police say it may have been confetti cannons that went off at the end of the concert that trigged a panic in the crowd.

“The reason that it effected them the way it did is because of the community violence that happens in the communities in which they live because they hear gunshots, so they thought it was gunshots,” says Funchess. “So, that is a residual trauma. It wasn’t any gunshots, it wasn’t any gunfire. But that’s where their mind went so we really need to unpack so that people can begin the road of healing.”

Even those who were not physically injured in the crowd surge may still be carrying the weight of what happened that night. Talking with others who experienced the same thing, could help. 

“We’re brothers and sisters holding space for you to be able to process what you’ve been through with people who care about you, who come from where you come from and have a shared experience,” Funchess says. 

The healing circles will be held:

  • March 12, from 2-3 p.m. virtually.
  • March 15, from 5-6 p.m. in-person.
  • March 15, from 5-6 p.m. virtually.

To register, click here. The address for in-person support meetings will be at the Loretta C. Scott Center for Human Services, at 57 St. Paul St.