LANCASTER, PA – Gun violence in the United States is a very pervasive issue and one that we have been hearing about with disturbing frequency. Activities that are seemingly normal have all become targets for places of gun violence; going to a concert, going to the movies, walking in your neighborhood, going to the grocery and even going to see fireworks. For young people and adults alike, this threat can contribute to extreme emotions including fear, anxiety, anger, and sadness.
The Touchstone Foundation aligns with over 60 United States organizations on the gun violence crisis issuing a national statement. Specifically, we share the concern that “Attempts to connect mental illness to mass shootings are a distraction that inflicts enormous damage by taking attention from solutions that could actually prevent such events.” Furthermore, “Gun violence is a public health crisis, and the trauma and fear caused by mass shootings significantly worsen Americans’ mental health.”
“The frequency of mass shootings, especially those that target people in places that should be safe – schools, supermarkets, places of worship – has been especially apparent in 2022. The victims are more than the official casualty counts because it includes survivors, family members and friends, first responders, and others who suffer with the lasting impacts of these events,” said Sean Post, Touchstone Foundation Treasurer. “It is impossible to have a conversation about gun violence without looking at the long-term effects on mental wellness for all those involved. While the debate rages on about gun laws, there should not be any debate about the mental wellness consequences and the need to support those who have experienced tragedy.”
The Touchstone Foundation continues to provide services like the Mental Health Copay Assistance Program which reduces visits to $10 (for those who qualify) and sharing resources from local mental health professionals, such as “Talking to Young People About Gun Violence: Suggestions for Caregivers”.
Touchstone Foundation is a nonprofit organization that has focused on elevating the mental well-being of youth and children in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania for over 20 years. Visit our website for more information touchstonefound.org