ASL Video: https://youtu.be/n9Y4X0fUalU
Just as we begin to be hopeful about emerging from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we now confront the tragedies of Atlanta and Boulder. The ripple effect of this grief and fear reverberates through entire communities on our campus and across the nation yet again.
The mental health impacts on individuals, families and communities are real. Mass shootings are terrifying for all of us and we need to support each other and our students by providing each a safe place to reflect on the issues of senseless violence. This year has us in the thick of co-existing traumas and the resurgence of mass shootings simply magnifies our trauma. I am always at a loss to suggest a clear path forward to address violence that is spurred by hate and racism and fear. Even when the world feels chaotic and unsafe, we must remind ourselves of the importance of being together, encourage daily kindness for each other, empathy and compassion with each other, and to commit daily antiracism and antibias work.
The following resources(several from Colorado) may be helpful:
- Find Community Mental Health Support:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-8255 or chat online (available 24/7).
- Coping During Tragedy, Mental Health Center of Denver
- MentalHealth.gov: An education resource for the public, health and emergency workers, government and business leaders, schools and local communities.
- Talk with your students:
- Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers, National Association for School Psychologists
- Talking with Kids About Fear and Violence, Mental Health America
- Helping Your Child Understand a Traumatic Event, Littleton Public Schools
- Resources for Talking to Children about Violence, Denver Public Schools
In closing it is so important that each of us to do the work we need to do to dismantle racism. My heart goes out to the families and communities that were impacted by mass shootings in Atlanta and Boulder, and all victims of hate in the past year, and we stand with them in solidarity.