Austin bombingsOur mission—to transform how communities promote mental health in everyday life—represents our belief that mental health is not solely an individual responsibility, but is also a product of community conditions. Acts of violence, such as the bombings around Austin and in Schertz, call us to stand in solidarity with everyone affected by this tragedy as we work to make our communities more inclusive and healthy places to live.

Our communities have been profoundly affected, and we are here to offer support to our friends and neighbors.

This tragedy is especially painful because it hits so close to home. The two individuals who lost their lives, Anthony Stephan House and Draylen Mason, both had connections to The University of Texas at Austin’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE), of which the Hogg Foundation is part. Anthony’s stepfather, Rev. Freddie Dixon, has been involved with DDCE since the division’s inception, and Draylen was a member of Austin Soundwaves, a program of the Hispanic Alliance, a DDCE community partner.

Following a tragic event like this, it’s important for a community to honor the people affected and provide space for community members to voice concerns and reactions. We commend the Austin Justice Coalition for hosting a public forum about the bombings that provided an opportunity for people to voice their feelings and hear from community leaders. You can view the video hereCounter Balance: ATX also held a Push for Peace event for those affected.

The foundation will host an event in Austin in mid-April to provide further opportunities for dialogue, healing and connection. We’re planning to bring in speakers to discuss trauma, including how to recognize and address it, and the role of faith in recovery from trauma. More information coming soon.

For anyone who needs help coping, the foundation maintains a resource directory on the Austin Area African American Behavioral Health Network website. The directory includes a list of mental health clinicians and service providers for individuals in need of care, as well as resources for families. If you are a clinician or mental health professional who would like to offer your services, click “Join Our Directory” on this webpage.

Here are some additional resources:

If you live in Austin, chances are you know someone who has been impacted by this tragedy. Please reach out and give what support, emotional or otherwise, you can. Together, we are stronger.