Colorado Health Foundation Statement on Las Vegas Shooting
Yesterday morning, we awoke to the 273rd mass shooting in 2017. As of today, this horrific event is the worst mass shooting by a lone assailant in modern U.S. history. With news still unfolding, a single gunman killed at least 59 people and injured hundreds at a country music festival in Las Vegas. Shock waves are being felt all across the U.S. as we grapple with why and how this type of tragedy continues to happen regularly in our communities.
Our hearts are broken for all of those lost. And our hearts are with those affected and forced to live and cope with this haunting event for the rest of their lives. There is an immense and unfortunately growing need to support those already suffering through the devastating aftermath.
Nearly every day, individuals, families, communities, health care providers, first responders and so many others are seeking limited resources and services to help them emotionally and physically survive violent tragedies. In Las Vegas, the media are reporting that the mental health community at large showed up in the early hours of Oct. 2 to support survivors and witnesses. The myriad issues that lie ahead for survivors, families and loved ones of the slain are not insignificant. Law enforcement, first responders and medical staff who responded will need support as they deal with the ramifications of this type of event on their personal health.
Moreover, we need to do more than offer condolences, thoughts and prayers. We need to break the ritualized response that we’ve developed to mass shootings. We must support those directly affected by this explosion of violence. We must mourn those lost. We must speak out against these unspeakable acts. We must act to prevent more senseless loss of life from any and all unnatural origins.
Resources for supporting those affected by gun violence or trauma:
- Prevention Institute: Gun Violence Must Stop. Here’s What We Can Do to Prevent More Deaths
- Colorado Crisis Services: If you are in crisis or need help dealing with one, call this toll-free number 1-844-493-TALK (8255) to speak to a trained professional or text TALK to 38255.
- National Council for Behavioral Health’s Trauma in the Wake of Tragedies: A series of resources to help support anyone experiencing trauma.
- Healthychildren.org: Talking to Children about Tragedies & Other News Events