August 5, 2019
As our nation repeatedly finds itself grieving the violent murders of innocent people, AAPA members join our fellow Americans in mourning. As a community of immigrants, refugees, and people of color, we also feel the violent and rising impact of hate and intolerance targeting us and our community. In 2018, the Southern Poverty Legal Center documented 1,020 organized hate groups in the United States and reported that incidents of hate crimes is on the rise nationwide.
As mental health professionals, we know the data demonstrates that these mass killings are not due to mental illness.
We are thankful to APA President Dr. Rosie Phillips Davis for her statement emphasizing the unfounded and stigmatizing impact of blaming mass shooting on those with mental illness.
We also know the data and research does not support video games as causation for mass violence.
Today marked the 7th anniversary of the cowardly hate attack upon the Oak Creek Sikh Gurdwara, which the community has chosen to commemorate in a spirit of chardi kala, relentless optimism in the face of hardship. Despite the dangers and painful losses of recent mass shootings and hate crimes againts innocente, we must join in the Sikh example to continue efforts to strengthen community despite hate.
We are in this together, and every voice and contribution adds to our strength as a united nation and as mental health professionals dedicated to the care and safety of all.
What can you do? It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the pace at which alarming and hateful events have been occurring.
Please take the time to seek support within your communities and take any small action which is feasible for your given situation. This is by no means an exhaustive list of organizations and resources, and we encourage you to share additional ideas and links with all AAPA members.
Contact your local elected officials. Ask them to vote in support of the Olsen and Beyer NO HATE Act, which aims at improving reporting of hate crimes and increasing assistance to victims.
Donate to reputable organizations that work to combat hate organizations and to support victims or address gun safety
Donate directly to communities impacted by gun violence
Write an op-ed article for your local media outlets
Share resources for coping with your communities:
We are also asking for AAPA members with multi-lingual abilities to let us know of their willingness to volunteer in assisting with translation or creation of coping resources or documents to disseminate to our community members in ethnic enclaves who may benefit from such information in their first languages.
Please respond to your AAPA Executive Committee if you would like to contribute your skills to this endeavor.