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August 6, 2019

Statement of The Steve Fund in Response to Recent Gun Violence

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The Steve Fund, with its focus on the mental health and well-being of young people of color, including college students, is very concerned about the recent spate of horrific mass shootings that appear to have targeted communities of color.  The gun violence perpetrated by a lone shooter in El Paso, Texas, is being regarded as a hate crime directed at members of the Latinx population resulting in a staggering loss of life.  We extend our sincere condolences to the families of the people who were killed in El Paso and Dayton. Tragedies like these have a devastating effect, not only on the families and friends of the victims, but also on people of good conscience across the nation who are shocked by the hatred and violent aggression unleashed on innocent people.

In the wake of these tragedies, fear, stress, anxiety, poor sleep, irritability, and difficulty concentrating are understandable reactions to this type of violent event.  If these experiences continue over time or interfere with your relationships or functioning at school or work, consult with your primary care provider.  It is important to keep in mind helpful approaches to coping with associated stress.  Stay connected with friends, family, and neighbors who can provide social support to help people deal with and recover from stressful circumstances. If being in public alone causes stress, it is a good idea to be with other people until the stress subsides. Minimize repeated exposure to television news and social media that present graphic images of the tragedy. Checking in with others who may be affected by the tragedy and reaching out to connect with them can be mutually beneficial.

Resources on helpful tips for coping with stress following these situations can be found on the following sites:  National Child Traumatic Stress Network, Catastrophic Violence Resources,  and the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress.

Additional support can be obtained by texting STEVE to 741741 to be connected to trained crisis counselor.