Thoughts With Our Friends in Lewiston, Maine - Gun Violence and Mass Violence Trauma Resources For Families and Providers
On behalf of our entire New England PTTC team, our hearts and thoughts are with our friends and colleagues in Lewiston, Maine in light of this horrific incidence of gun violence. Lewiston/Auburn, Maine, in particular is close to my heart. For over ten years it was my home. Before I came to work at AdCare Maine (home of the New England PTTC), I worked for the public health organization, Healthy Androscoggin, headquartered in downtown Lewiston, not very far from where these incidents have taken place. I had the great opportunity to work there for seven years, working with so many wonderful people from multiple sectors: schools, law enforcement, behavioral health, addiction prevention, first responders. Lewiston is a wonderful community. It is a community where everyone comes together to solve problems, and to continuously work towards making the community healthy and safe for all. Understandably, this incident of mass gun violence is shaking the Lewiston community, and in such a dark time it is a struggle to find a light, or silver lining, but I know full well this community will rally together, to support one another, that's just how it is done in Lewiston/Auburn, Maine.
This morning I think of all those partners, including those partners from the Lewiston Police Department who are engaged in the response and search for the suspect, and the first responders caring for the victims. But I also think of the unspeakable tragedy that has visited so many families in Lewiston, and the trauma experienced by those who were at the sites of the shootings. As a training and technical assistance organization, there are limits on what we can do to help in this situation. But what we can do is share resources that may be of support for families and the providers who will do the important work of supporting the families and individuals impacted by this senseless act of violence. Here are some resources listed below to be aware of and to share, if you are aware of other helpful resources to support victims of gun violence, please send them to us so that we may add to the list. This is the very least we can do but hopefully it can be helpful.
As a state, as a region, as a nation, we need to come together to support these families, but also, to learn what we can do to prevent further tragedies. Gun violence is a big problem in our country, it is a big public health problem in our country. The time is long past that we take meaningful action to seek and implement policy and public health solutions to address this epidemic. It's not enough to just say "never again" anymore. It's time to move to action.
Thoughts with Lewiston, Maine this day. Stay safe friends.
-Scott M. Gagnon, Director New England Prevention Technology Transfer Center
Resources from SAMHSA: