November 1, 2018
We are horrified and deeply saddened by the devastating violence that took place on October 27, 2018, at the Tree of Life Congregation synagogue in Squirrel Hill, PA. We condemn the anti-semitic acts of violence and grieve the 11 congregants who were killed in their place of worship. Our hearts go out to the victims’ families and loved ones, the first responders who were injured, and the Jewish community.
We also mourn the deaths of Maurice Stallard and Vickie Jones, who were shot at a Kroger supermarket in Louisville, KY, on October 24, after the shooter had reportedly tried to enter the First Baptist Church of Jeffersontown. The murders are now being investigated as hate crimes. Victims of hate crimes are more likely to experience psychological distress than victims of other violent crimes that are not motivated by bias. We encourage our members, as qualified mental health providers, to act as resources in their communities as people struggle with trauma, both direct and vicarious, in the aftermath of hate crimes. Below are some resources that may offer some insight:
- Anti-Defamation League – Statement on Synagogue Shooting in Pittsburgh
- Department of Justice – Combatting Hate Crimes
- Human Rights Campaign – Hate Crime Resources
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – A roundup of resources for residents dealing with aftermath of mass shooting