Like many of you, those of us at Voices for Children were shocked and heartbroken by the news of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary on Friday morning. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and community of Newtown, CT as they mourn the loss of 20 children and 6 educators and try to make sense of the tragedy.
Any time a violent event like this happens our thoughts go to those here closer to home that have been affected by similar tragedies: to the Millard South community who lost an assistant principal to gun violence nearly 2 years ago, to those impacted by the Von Maur shooting just over 5 years ago, and to the families mourning the loss of a loved one to street violence. There is little we can do after the fact except comfort those who are reminded of their own losses every time another family or community is affected by gun violence.
Events like those in Connecticut remind us of the work we have left to do in creating access to behavioral health services to help identify and treat problems before they reach such an extreme point. As a community, state, and nation, we must come together to support those most affected and find solutions to the challenges of our behavioral health system and prevent these tragedies from happening again.