Champaign County, Ill. (WCIA) —
As people mourn the tragic loss of Officer Chris Oberheim, experts remind these communities, it’ll take time and support to get through this grief.
Some organizations may have ways to help cope. UIPD have multiple therapy dogs. They say the dogs are helpful to support others, but its also helpful for the officers.
“Grief is unique to each individual and there’s no right way or wrong way to grieve,” Kristen Hammel, a psychotherapist at OSF, said.
People from communities all around Central Illinois are dealing with loss.
“Grief and losing someone that we love is probably the worst experience, worst feelings that we’re going to have throughout our lifetime,” Hammel said.
Champaign Police Officer Chris Oberheim has been laid to rest, and people from all over the country came to say their final goodbyes.
“Grief is not something that we get over, and its something that we learn to live with, and that we’re not alone,” Hammel said.
Kristen Hammel, a psychotherapist at OSF, says everyone deals with grief differently.
“Its not a linear process and it doesn’t fit into neat little boxes, and that we can go from feeling like we’re moving forward, then have something trigger us,” Hammel said.
She says to be aware of how your loved ones are doing. She said there are signs to be on the look out if your friend or family member is having a hard time, including isolation, irritability, loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy and more. Hammel says there are ways you can help.
“Sitting next to them. Telling them I’m here for you, I love you, and I can listen to you,” Hammel said.
As communities across Central Illinois mourn the loss of a father, co-worker, friend, and more, Hammel says sometimes it helps to continue to come together to support one another.
“People can create their own support groups and that can provide empowerment too and get a community together to work through their grief,” Hammel said.
Champaign Police Department said they are making sure they have resources available for staff and families affected.
OSF also has online resources for stress, depression, and anxiety. They encourage you to check out the link below if you need any extra support.