From the CEO of Idaho Youth Ranch
The world took a collective gasp yesterday when the news broke about the violence in Uvalde, Texas, which claimed the lives of at least 21 people, most of whom were children. As a parent, teacher, social worker, and human being, it is impossible to describe the shock, outrage, and fear such terrible events bring up. Childhood should be a time of wonder, hope, and promise. It breaks my heart that our children are growing up in a world where they have to learn how to stay safe in the case of a mass shooter when they should be learning how to read, write, and dream. Is it any surprise that our youth struggle with depression and anxiety at all-time highs? The compound traumas of mass shootings affect all of us. No one is immune to the shock and fear. I struggled as I drove past schools on my way to the office this morning, seeing so many children being dropped off by their parents, just as the youth of Uvalde arrived at school yesterday. Today, I’ve heard employees say that leaving their children for their final days of school was one of the hardest things they’ve had to do. They carry the stress and pain in their minds and bodies, as do many of you.
I know that these are hard conversations to have, but I encourage you to talk to your children about their mental health. Don’t be afraid to ask them how they are feeling, and it’s okay to share your feelings. We cannot let this tragedy hurt more families by sowing the seeds of anxiety and hopelessness. When you need help, ask for it. In the face of such terrible collective trauma, I think it is safe to say that we all need some help. If you or someone you know needs some resources for talking with children in response to this tragedy, please go to www.youthranch.org.
As we weep for those grieving families right now, please hold your children and loved ones tight. Remember to check in on your friends and neighbors. The greatest antidote to fear and isolation is togetherness and belonging. These are gifts we can all give each other.
Be kind to one another.
-Scott Curtis, CEO
FREE RESOURCE: Talking with your kids about the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas
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