Alexandria, VA – The following is a statement from Schroeder Stribling, president and CEO of Mental Health America:
“Mental Health America joins the country in mourning the tragic loss of those killed in the horrific and senseless shooting that took place Saturday in Buffalo, N.Y. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims and the witnesses.
Once the immediate crisis wears off, survivors, witnesses, families and friends of victims, and the community live with the long-term trauma of a tragedy. We encourage anyone struggling to reach out for help, whether that’s through a licensed counselor or support from a community center, faith organization, school, family, or friends. We also encourage parents and caregivers to talk to their children and find additional support if needed.
For those following the news, we hope you take breaks from social media and TV for your own mental well-being and be mindful before clicking play on first-hand videos of the incident.
We live in a time where these acts of violence occur far too often and with enormous hate as the motivator. Our nation’s BIPOC communities continue to disproportionately face such violence, and it must stop.
Let me be clear: Hate is not a mental health condition.
In the shadow of such a heinous act, the cracks in our system become ever more apparent: Our communities need more clinicians of color. Getting help for mental health struggles must happen sooner, and it should not be stigmatized.
We can’t change what happened in Buffalo on Saturday, or the several other shootings over the weekend, but it’s our obligation to do something now.”
About Mental Health America
Mental Health America (MHA) is the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and promoting the overall mental health of all. MHA’s work is driven by its commitment to promote mental health as a critical part of overall wellness, including prevention services for all; early identification and intervention for those at risk; integrated care, services, and supports for those who need them; with recovery as the goal. Learn more at MHAnational.org.