November 15, 2018
Our hearts are broken for the people of California who are experiencing tremendous loss and tragedy. The devastating wildfire known as the Camp Fire in Butte County has burned the town of Paradise to the ground and is the deadliest fire in the state’s history. To date, 56 fatalities have been confirmed, 130 people remain unaccounted for, and tens of thousands have fled their homes, many of which have been destroyed. In Los Angeles County and Ventura County, the Woosley Fire has claimed at least three lives and displaced thousands.
We also share our condolences for the 13 lives lost in the mass shooting that occurred last Thursday, November 8, 2018 at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, CA. We are deeply disturbed by this event and with the frequency of mass shootings across the country.
The trauma facing Californians is incomprehensible. Our hearts are with the victims, their families, friends, and wider communities, and with all those who have not yet heard news of their loved ones. As the search and rescue continues in the wildfires disaster response, AATA chapters, Southern California Art Therapy Association (SoCalATA) and Northern California Art Therapy Association (NorCATA) are exploring how they can best help their communities support the tens of thousands who have been displaced and how to help facilitate the healing process. If you are an AATA member and would like to join a discussion among colleagues on how to respond to natural and human-caused disasters in your community and contribute to efforts across the country, please login to MyAATA to join the forum thread.
Below are additional resources:
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – The Disaster Distress Helpline 1-800-985-5990 is as a 24 hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week resource that responds to people who need crisis counseling after experiencing a natural or man-made disaster or tragedy
- American Red Cross – California Wildfires – Red Cross Provides Help, Support to Evacuees
- The American Psychological Association (APA) – Recovering from Wildfires
- APA – Gun Violence: Prediction, Prevention, and Policy
- The New York Times – How to Help Those Affected by the California Fires
- SAMHSA– Wildfires