May 10, 2024

Love For VB: Monthlong Special Programming Focuses on Mental Health, Resiliency and Overall Wellbeing

Five-year remembrance activities for May 31, 2019, tragedy include programs to aid in healing journey

Love For VB Symbol

During the month of May, the City of Virginia Beach is offering several ways to honor the victims and their families, as well as everyone whose lives were forever changed by the May 31, 2019, tragedy.  

Because individuals are at different points in their healing journey, our goal is to continue to provide options for how we remember those we lost. Promoting mental health and overall wellness is also key to our recovery, and this monthlong programming reflects our commitment to promote resilience for our employees and the community and recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month. Most of the events are free and open to the public, but some require a membership or advanced registration. Check each listing for details. 

DHS Mental Health Awareness Events 

The Virginia Beach Department of Human Services offers classes throughout the month of May to help address mental health and community wellness, including seminars specifically to learn more about topics such as opioid overdoses and Naloxone, mental health awareness for families and youth, and more. 

To learn more about these programs, visit or call 757-385-0803. 

VBPR Fitness & Dance Classes 

Physical activity is beneficial to improving health and reducing symptoms of stress related to trauma. Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation offers programs for all ages and abilities throughout the month of May.  

Use your rec center membership and participate in high-intensity workout classes such as Turbo Kick and Cardio HITT, or slow things down with Yoga and Tai Chi. Get your heart pumping and body moving by joining the free Dance Bash Spring Series at Mount Trashmore Park or join a FitLot class at Williams Farm Park. 

To learn more about available classes, visit or call 757-403-8273  

VBPL Resiliency Programming 

Virginia Beach Public Library’s (VBPL) lineup of free programs this month includes options to learn something new, express creativity or enjoy downtime with a book or a kitten. Here are a few highlights for all ages. 


  • Find VBPL in the Park: Library staff are presenting free, interactive science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) activities for preschool families in a local park each Tuesday afternoon in May.  


  • Try new painting techniques on adorably small canvases with Tiny Art paint nights. Can’t make it? No problem! Pick up your own tiny canvas at any VBPL branch and create your masterpiece at home. Return it by May 27 to display at the June 3 Tiny Art Show at Central Library.  
  • Unwind and enjoy some kitten cuddling, meet other animal-loving teens, and learn about the adoption process with Billy the Kidden Rescue.  
  • Find hip-hop happiness and feel the endorphins flow with Dance Fitness cardio and dance.  


Find full details about these and other free library programs at  

VB Strong Center Wellness Activities 

During the week of May 27, the VB Strong Center is hosting several activities as part of “Wellness-Hope-Reflection Week.” These free events are offered in-person and require registration.

  • Expressive Arts with Stars of HOPE, May 28, noon to 1:30 p.m. and 5:30-7 p.m.
    Join in with Stars of HOPE to create your own symbol of resilience through artistic expression. The workshop offers a space for hope, encouragement and fun. 
  • StretchLab, May 29, 2-5 p.m. 
    Find purpose in movement with the StretchLab. Active stretching and one-on-one personal demonstrations will be available to learn various stretches for wellbeing. 
  • Lunch and Learn, May 30, noon to 2 p.m. 
    Discuss the link between food and mental wellness with a licensed dietitian and diabetic specialist. Healthy meal will be provided. 
  • Day of Connection and Reflection, May 31, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
    A licensed professional will provide short, solution-focused sessions and access to additional community resources. Sessions are an hour long. 

For more programs and to register for these events, visit or call 757-507-7200. 

Five-Year Remembrance Ceremony 

Gather and remember those we lost and lift up survivors and those still healing. The event will include a moment of silence, reading of names and dedication of the site of the future 5/31 memorial. Attendees are invited to share memories, thoughts and sentiments on biodegradable paper to be buried on the site. 

The ceremony will be 4 p.m. on Friday, May 31, at the future memorial site near Building 30, 2508 Princess Anne Road. It will be livestreamed on and the City’s Facebook page

“Love For VB”  

As in past years, the Love For VB symbol — the forget-me-not-flower — will be prevalent around the city. 

  • The forget-me-not flower will again be painted at Mount Trashmore Park on the front of the hill just below the City seal. 
  • The Love For VB symbol will be displayed in the “Love” sign at the Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center. 
  • Remembrance flags featuring the Love For VB flower will be flown at more than 40 locations citywide. 
  • Various locations, including Building 30, the Virginia Beach Convention Center, Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, and Greenwich and Lesner bridges, will light up blue in remembrance. 

Remembrance and reflection are a personal experience for many. Here are a few ways you can remember in your own way and show “Love For VB.” 

  • Observe a moment of silence on Friday, May 31, at 4:06 p.m., the time when the first 911 call was received. Individuals are asked to pause wherever they are at that time. 
  • Wear blue, the color of remembrance, on May 31. 
  • Add a “Love For VB” Facebook frame to your profile picture. There are two new ones to choose from, along with options from previous years. 
  • Gain the therapeutic benefits of coloring by completing one of the new coloring sheets and place it somewhere visible for all to see. Full color options are also available. 

We encourage you to participate in these supportive activities available to the community. For detailed information about special programming, the ceremony and 5/31 memorial, and to download Love For VB resources, visit  

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