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Thoughts and Prayers Are Not Enough

Today I led a workshop on Adverse Childhood Experiences where some of my slides discussed trauma informed schools and creating safe spaces for children who may be experiencing adversity in their home. I was leading this workshop the day after yet another school shooting where innocent lives were lost, a community was traumatized and survivors will never be the same.

The irony is too much and it’s been hard to hold all day.

The numbers are the numbers.

  • Since 2018 the number of mass shootings has been rising to include over 2,000 incidents in the last five years.

  • So far in 2022, we have experienced 42 mass shootings – putting us on track to exceed 2021 data.

  • Since 2014 over 1800 minors have died from accidental gun death.

  • School shootings are at the highest number in history.

  • 62% of gun deaths in the US are suicides

  • Gun violence is now the number one killer of youth aged 11-18 – surpassing trauma and accident.

And every time, some want to change the dialogue to focus on mental health. Yet a VERY small percentage of people managing a mental health challenge engage in violent behavior – about 4% actually. Most are victims of crime themselves. So while those managing mental health challenges are re-stigmatized – making them more vulnerable and less likely to ask for the help they may need – nothing is done about the guns.

The neglect and inaction of leaders are brutality. Knowing … knowing … there is a gun crisis in this country and doing nothing about it is trauma. Sending “thoughts and prayers” in a Tweet while not coming to the table to talk about potential solutions is cruelty and offense to those left behind.

If you are feeling sad, overwhelmed and heartbroken – you are not alone. And if you are also angry, frustrated and ready to hold people accountable – you are not alone. Guns are killing us. Guns are killing our children. Being complacent is no longer a viable option.


If you are experiencing stress or feel you are in crisis during this time – please look to the Cypress Resource Page on our website. We have search platforms for finding a therapist, crisis hotline numbers and resources to support with grief.

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