A Call to Action, NOT Arms
Another shooting. I am devastated. This one is in my backyard. The UCLA campus. It’s my alma mater. As a person I just can’t wrap my brain around it. As a psychologist and CEO of a child and family mental health services organization, I feel an obligation to find a way to widen the safety net to be able to provide services to more people who need them.
To be on campus when there is a shooting is traumatizing. The trauma is not limited to the family and friends who lost loved ones. In situations like these, it can extend to those in close proximity as well as their family and friends who may not be nearby. (I’ve recently seen posts on social media of parents whose children were on campus crying out for prayer for safety for their children). These people may experience vicarious trauma, but trauma nonetheless. One traumatic event has been known to affect people for the rest of their lives.
The ripple effect expands to an entire community. Therefore the entire community is invited to join me in taking action to care for those who have been traumatized.
It is well established that trauma can precede mental health symptoms and if left untreated can result in lifelong mental illness. Prevention and early intervention are essential.
Join Our Call to Action for Mental Heath Reform
Did you know that mental illness affects one in five people? That is nearly 60 million Americans.
Did you also know that it has been 40 years since a comprehensive mental health bill has passed through Congress and tragedies such as school and workplace shootings and private family trauma increasingly shatter lives.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization has started a petition to Congress to:
- Improve reimbursement for mental health services
- Improve access to mental health services
- Improve integration of mental health and physical health
- Increase funding streams for mental health research
- Provide the early identification and intervention that is so vital.
The time to address mental health in this country is NOW. Celebrities, thought leaders and everyday people are becoming more vocal and sharing their stories. We help thousands of people in Orange County every year and it is a blip on the radar. So much more can be done.
By signing this petition, you’re standing with the National Alliance on Mental Illness and many others to demand the passage of a mental health bill this year.
We need 60,000 signatures to submit the petition and we are just shy of 46,000. Let’s join voices for impact and change. Please share with your friends, family and colleagues. The numbers are staggering, we all know someone who is suffering, perhaps in silence.
We Are Here to Help
Western Youth Services is the hub of mental health care and wellness solutions for kids and families in Orange County, CA. Our wide range of referral and linkage services are provided at NO COST to county residents and include:
- Counseling services
- Workshops such as Bullying, Healthy Relationships, Safety On Social Media, Communication, Conflict Resolution, Coping Skills, and Stress Management.
- Groups on various topics such as healthy recreation, problem solving, peer skills building, grief and coping for teens, families, siblings, students, and other identified groups.
See our services page for additional information and resources and all of our contact information.
Lorry Leigh Belhumeur, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Western Youth Services