Access Resources for Mental Health Following a Traumatic Event
NAMI Texas extends our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those lost or injured in the horrific mass shooting that occurred in Sutherland Springs, Texas on November 5th, 2017. No individual should have to experience senseless violence and no family or loved one should have to suffer such a loss. We stand together with all who are affected by the shooting in Sutherland Springs and offer our condolences as well as the support of our NAMI network in Texas.
NAMI Texas is an organization of individuals and families who have had their lives affected deeply by mental illness. When tragedies occur, we must seek to understand and address the root causes of these tragedies and we must not rush to judgement.
Often, we can see a rush to explain mass tragedies by identifying mental illness as the primary or sole causative factor. In reflecting back, it is essential for us to understand the nature of mental illness. The evidence is clear: the overwhelming majority of people with mental illness are not violent. In fact, people with mental illness are more likely to be the victims of violence than the perpetrators of it. Less than 10 percent of shootings nationwide involve people with mental illness. By overstating the risk between gun violence and mental illness, we run the risk of creating further barriers to treatment – people with mental illness may become increasingly reluctant to seek services, as they will fear that society will then draw certain conclusions about them. This is a chance that we simply cannot afford to take.
When incidents of mass violence occur, it’s normal for people to experience emotional distress. Feelings such as overwhelming anxiety, trouble sleeping, and other depression-like symptoms are common responses to incidents of mass violence. We strongly encourage anyone experiencing symptoms of emotional distress to call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 for support and counseling (Spanish-speakers should text Hablanos to 66746). The Disaster Distress Helpline is a national hotline that provides 24/7, year-round crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories.
We extend our deepest condolences to all affected by the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to NAMI Texas for assistance in finding support, services, and resources. You can connect with us by phone at (512) 693-2000 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.