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Without Words

Our staff had a conversation earlier today about our legal and ethical duty to warn, to report abuse and
neglect. Little did we know what was to follow.

I was shaken late this afternoon to learn about the fourteen little children and one teacher slaughtered
today in Uvalde, TX. Such tragedy leaves one heartbroken and without words. One cannot imagine the
pain of bereaved families and parents everywhere without words to explain…to themselves, to their
children.

We don’t know much yet about the 18 year old young man who took the lives of these children and
their teacher. Prior to that tragedy, this young man shot his own grandmother. Certainly, this young
man should not have had a gun. But he did. But even sadder, this young man was mentally ill.

We still fail to identify and respond effectively to some of the most seriously ill in our communities.

We can discuss gun control and “hardening our schools,” and maybe we should. But even more, we
need to de-stigmatize mental illness. Like cancer, diabetes, heart disease and others mental illness must
be identified and treated.

If you, or someone you know, is ill and poses a potential threat to another, please speak up. This
shooter is dead, another life lost, another family devastated. It’s trite and cliché, but, “if you see
something, say something.” This is not a political issue. It is a human issue. It is our issue.

May 26 update: Media reports indicate that 19 children and 2 teachers have died. The shooter’s
grandmother is in critical condition.

Sue Steinbruecker, LCSW