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Mental Health Update

Posted in:
May 25, 2022
Mental Health Update

05/25/2022 – Very Powerful Statement from MHANY Board Chair and Northern Rivers CEO, Bill Gettman: Travesty in Texas and Please Support our staff, families and Young Persons

It is unbelievable. A gunman opened fire at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, this afternoon killing 14 children and a teacher, in the deadliest shooting at an elementary school since the devastating attack at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., in 2012.It remains unconceivable that the violence is reaching these levels. The victims of mass shooting are young promising students with bright futures. The loss reaffirms that we have an incredible amount of work to accomplish for a fair, representative, unbiased, and caring community, nation, and state. The events are very personal to everyone. There is trauma here and everyone needs to be provided an opportunity to grieve and process the impact of the hateful and neglectful targeting that occurred with space and grace.

Give people a place to talk this out if they choose to do so, and support efforts to obtain assistance and outside support.

There will be time to rant and be angry, but now we need to support our staff, families, young persons in our programs and ourselves. First, we need to ensure students, parents and staff that our schools are safe, and we remain vigilant. We will use these events to re-examine our safety protocols and related drills.

Second, we need to be on alert to reactions that may surface out of fear, trauma, and recent history. The reactions are all legitimate and we need to support everyone and find ways to talk, vent, cry and feel. We will have EAP resources on alert.

Please allow for discussions with your Team and stay focused on the need to heal and express grief. Please suggest any ideas.

Last, please hug your loved ones, children, nephews, nieces, grand kids, and family members. We are all in this together and despite the nerves that have been struck, we will pull together and make progress.

The streets of heaven are filled with angles tonight-so young and unfair. Please say a prayer for those personally impacted

William T. Gettman, Jr.
Chief Executive Officer
Northern Rivers Family of Services
60 Academy Road | Albany, NY 12208