Two girls sitting and crying after mass shooting

Photo credit: Callaghan O’Hare/Reuters

The Hogg Foundation offers its deepest condolences to those impacted by the recent shooting in Odessa, Texas. Our hearts go out to those in the Midland/Odessa area and elsewhere who were affected by this tragedy.

The state of Texas has recently borne witness to a spate of mass shooting incidents. Each one has tested our resilience and ability to avoid misplacing blame for these tragic occurrences. Sadly, we have had to issue similar statements on previous mass shootings in Sutherland Springs and El Paso.

In the case of the Odessa shooting, it has been reported that acquaintances of the shooter widely believed he had a mental health condition. If so, he has that in common with millions of Americans, virtually none of whom will ever commit such an atrocious act.

We believe that accurate information is an important part of coping and resilience, and we have faith in our fellow citizens to be able to have the kind of informed, nuanced conversation about gun violence that doesn’t perpetuate harm to people with mental health conditions. We humbly encourage both policymakers and members of the media to educate themselves about the link between mental health and violence so that their participation in such a conversation can be a constructive and informed one.

During times like these, it is equally important for people to know where to find resources to deal with the trauma and stress that accompany such tragedy. We’ve compiled a short list of mental health resources to help address the trauma and shock people may be feeling. This is not a comprehensive list, nor are these official endorsements. Please share this information with those who may be struggling.

  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration’s Disaster Distress Helpline provides crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.
  • The Crisis Text Line provides free 24/7 support to people in crisis.
  • National Child Traumatic Stress Network is offering resources for parents in English and Spanish.

As we search for ways to put an end to such tragedies, we encourage our fellow neighbors to do three things:

  • Support and seek partnerships with those, across the political spectrum, who favor constructive dialogue and humane approaches to the problems that impact our society’s well-being. These two articles illustrate some possibilities.
  • Equip yourself and others with accurate information about the relationship between mental illness and violence. This series of videos featuring Dr. Joel Dvoskin, a nationally known expert on gun violence, is a great starting point.
  • Continue to prioritize your own emotional well-being and that of your loved ones.