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NMVVRC Creates App for Mass Violence Victims and Survivors

Holy City Sinner

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A team of developers at the National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center (NMVVRC) created a mobile, self-help app for mass violence survivors, their families and anyone affected by mass violence.

Transcend NMVC educates users on common reactions to mass violence and provides strategies to manage emotional and behavioral reactions to trauma.

“Victim autonomy is central to Transcend’s very foundation, as victims and survivors can access it whenever they need it, on their own time, based upon their own need,” said Anne Seymour, National Crime Victim/ Survivor Advocate.

Amy O’Neill, MS, LPC, a Boston Marathon bombings survivor and member of the NMVVRC’s victim and survivor stakeholder group, helped shape the app. She said it has “the victim’s voice.”

“In the victim and survivor communities, when they know that the victim’s voice has been influential, or listened to, or acknowledged as part of the development of services, it’s very affirming because victims have this beautiful camaraderie,” O’Neill said. “They understand what each other’s survivor journey is like.”

New users can explore the app on their own or create a personal recovery strategy. Different learning courses define mass violence, what to expect through recovery, the body’s response to trauma and its lasting effects.

Topics include calming the body, managing distressing thoughts, maintaining healthy levels of activity, coping for loss and helping others. The app offers different interactives like creating task lists, schedules and guided audio recordings.

The NMVVRC partnered with Headspace, an internationally recognized platform of mediations and provided audio recordings so users can calm the mind, learn relaxation techniques and find restful sleep. Some recordings include Andy Puddicombe, now featured on Netflix with his show Headspace Guide to Meditation.

The app is available on Apple and Android mobile products.

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