We are horrified and grief-stricken by the multiple tragedies that have taken place in the last two weeks. AAPA leadership was still processing and working on our words of solidarity in response to the Sri Lanka murders (Sunday, April 21, 2019) when the shooting at the Chabad of Poway Synagogue (Saturday, April 27, 2019) occurred in San Diego, CA.
As an organization we unequivocally condemn such acts of hate and violence and commit to supporting victims, families, and communities during these difficult times. For many individuals and communities religion and spirituality are fundamental components of psychological and community health. As such, we are especially concerned about the persistent onslaught of violence impacting ethnic, racial, and religious communities both within the U.S. and abroad. We urge our membership to remain vigilant in considering the impact of losing a sense of safety in one’s spiritual home. Whether in Christchurch or Louisiana, Oak Creek or Pittsburgh- these cowardly attacks are an affront to us all.
As an organization committed to advancing the mental health and well-being of Asian Americans, we are cognizant of the media’s highlighting of mental illness as a precipitant to some of the tragedies. We are intent on differentiating mental health from acts of hate and violence. Facts indicate that the vast majority of those living with mental health conditions do not commit acts of violence.
In the wake of recent tragedies, we advise that each of us remain mindful not to give in to divisiveness by stereotyping entire communities for the hateful actions of a few. We also advise you to acknowledge history and systems of oppression that implicitly or explicitly perpetuate such hate and violence. We need to stand together, united in combating hatred and denouncing acts of violence.
If you or your family are impacted by these events, we encourage you to make yourself a priority and make space for your personal self-care and that of your community. We also encourage you to consider reaching out to your family, friends, religious and spiritual institutions, mental health professionals, and local community and support groups.
For allies and supporters, we encourage you to reach out to folks within your network to allow space for sharing, venting, grieving, fear, and any other emotions that might arise. Make your allyship local and visible. Note that it is important to provide validation for those communities most impacted. At this critical time, we encourage continuing to build a sense of strength through love and community– all of which have been shown to support healing and mental health.
Asian American Psychological Association
Managing your Distress in the Wake of Mass Shooting
Building Resilience to Manage Indirect Exposure to Terror
How to talk to Children about difficult news
HATE CRIME RESOURCES
American Psychological Association on the Psychology of Hate Crimes
Southern Poverty legal Center – Resources for Fighting Hate Groups and Teaching Tolerance
Southern Poverty legal Center -10 ways to fight hate – Community response
SRI LANKA RESOURCES
Sri Lanka Red Cross
Kind Hearted Lankans
If you need assistance with locating a missing relative, please contact your local Red Cross office here and ask to speak to a case worker.
CHABAD POWAY DONATION SITE