The Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council (CBHC) is heartbroken over the mass shooting that took place in Boulder at the King Soopers on Monday, March 22nd. We grieve with the friends and family of those who lost their lives in this senseless act of violence, and we stand with the Boulder Police Department as they mourn the loss of one of their own, Officer Eric Talley.
The lives of Denny Strong, 20, Neven Stanisic, 23, Rikki Olds, 25, Tralona Bartkowiak, 49, Suzanne Fountain, 59, Teri Leiker, 51, Kevin Mahoney, 61, Lynn Murray, 62, and Jody Waters, 65 were cut short as they went about their work or daily activities. It is beyond tragic that they were taken from this world too soon and that mass shootings of this type have become commonplace in our society.
When these horrific events occur, it is easy to experience trauma whether you were directly, or indirectly, involved. It is normal to feel a sense of loss, anger, anxiety, or depression. In these times, it is important to share those feelings with those you love and to seek professional support.
For those living in the Boulder area, you have services available through your local community mental health center, Mental Health Partners. Their staff is trained and prepared to respond to the needs of the community and is coordinating community resources to help anyone feeling concerned about their mental health at this time. To meet with one of their trained professionals, visit www.mhpcolorado.org or call them at (303) 443-8500. You can also learn about more ways to cope through their webpage dedicated to helping individuals during this time of mourning: https://www.mhpcolorado.org/community-in-mourning/.
For those outside the Boulder area, you are also not alone. This tragedy affects all Coloradans. If you need to speak with a professional immediately, please call the Colorado Crisis Hotline at 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 38255. There is also a Community Mental Health Center in your area. To find and connect with them, visit https://www.cbhc.org/find-services/behavioral-health-providers/.
CBHC understands that traumatic events, whether they be shootings, fires, floods, or pandemics, will sadly always be a part of our collective experience as Coloradans. As such, we have been working on a bill that would further support the role of community-based safety net behavioral health providers in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from disasters. It would also further help to organize, define, and align behavioral health activities across the state in preparing for emergencies and disasters before they happen and support communities as they recover. We look forward to the introduction of this bill and encourage you to support it as it moves through the legislative process.
If you are looking for ways to help during this time, please visit the Colorado Healing Fund where a donation page has been set up to support the needs of the victims, families, and the Boulder community. And don’t forget that your mental health matters. Please take care of yourself during this time and beyond.
If you have any questions about this statement or would like to learn more about the proposed bill to further support community-based response to disasters across our state, please contact CBHC’s Deputy Director and Chief Strategy Officer, Frank Cornelia, at firstname.lastname@example.org.