Dear TC Families,
As you know, violence erupted at yesterday’s Independence Day celebration in Highland Park when a shooter opened fire on those gathered for a parade. This horrible act left seven people dead and dozens more wounded. Our thoughts are with the victims of this violence and their families. We know that many of the survivors – those who were taken to hospitals in Highland Park and surrounding areas – have a long road of recovery ahead of them.
Being the victim of violence is a profoundly traumatic experience. Bearing witness to violence is a profoundly traumatic experience. Living day-to-day in the presence of violence, in a state of constant vigilance, is mentally and emotionally draining. We have empathy for those whose lives have been changed by violence. And while recovery takes time, I want to share some resources from one of our partners that are available to those who need help now.
- SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster. Call or text 1-800-985-5990 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 to support anyone dealing with a suicide crisis in the United States (for themselves or for loved ones). Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for free, confidential phone or chat services. People with speech or hearing disabilities can contact (800) 799-4889.
- The Illinois Warm Line is staffed by individuals with lived mental health experience and is available 8AM-8PM daily (except Sundays and holidays). Call 1-866-359-7953.
If you can extend an extra bit of compassion to those around you, please do so. And if you are in need of help or support yourself, please reach out.
Dr. Beverly A. Echols
A Letter From the Executive Director