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Saint Louis MHB (MHB), together with the St. Louis Area Violence Prevention Commission (VPC), extend our heartfelt condolences and desire for healing, hope, and recovery for the families of the victims, the students, the teachers, and the staff at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School tragically impacted by Monday’s school shooting.

In the aftermath of gun violence, it is important to recognize and validate the shared grief and trauma experienced by those whose lives are directly impacted and forever changed.  As our community mourns the loss of lives and of safety in our schools, neighborhoods, and community, it is important to remember that resources are available and that with proper support, it is possible to overcome traumatic experiences.

In the days and weeks ahead, MHB and VPC urge you to be aware of the signs of traumatic stress in teens including feelings of depression or being alone, developing eating disorders and self-harming behaviors, and/or abusing alcohol or drugs.  For some, their trauma can interfere with their daily lives and ability to function, as well as their interactions with others.  Youth with a history of trauma may be re-traumatized by this event and even people who were not at the scene of the shooting, may experience trauma and can access services.

If you or someone you know is exhibiting signs of trauma following yesterday’s school shooting or other traumatic event, help and resources are available by calling or texting:

  • National 9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline;
  • Behavioral Health Response Youth Connection Helpline at (314) 485-4635 or toll free at (844) 336-2435 or text 2TALK to 31658; or
  • VPC’s Gun Violence Response Network by dialing 2-1-1, entering your zip code, and pressing 6 to be connected to a navigator about gun violence.

Together as a community, through mental health counseling and resources for those impacted by gun violence, we can heal and work toward a St. Louis where gun violence no longer dominates and irrevocably impacts our lives.