Newtown Massacre – IACAPAP’s responsibility and commitment to action
The tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, USA (the shooting death of 26 individuals including 20 very young children) is not just a tragedy for this community and the families of these children but a powerful reminder of the fragility of life and our responsibilities as individuals, communities and professionals to seek ways to protect life. Our thoughts are with the families and children, and the community.
As child mental health professionals, we have special responsibilities to those who are affected by such tragedies through the provision of support. We have a broader responsibility to speak up for our concerns as to how to avoid such tragedies. The difficulty of seeking help and obtaining help by those who are mentally ill remains a challenge too often ignored. The perpetrator in this and other similar cases is reported to have had a mental illness even though a very good student. We also need as professionals to speak up about the dire consequences of access to lethal weapons. In this case it was the perpetrator’s mother who owned the guns used in this shooting. IACAPAP and its affiliated associations are all too aware of the violence affecting the world and we must try to add our expertise and advocacy wherever possible. We stand ready to partner with others in this quest.
IACAPAP has developed a statement and a declaration that speak about the approaches to dealing with natural and man-made disasters. The shootings in Connecticut are a disaster reminiscent of the worst disasters seen around the world where innocent lives are taken by violence.
Our sympathies go to all those involved and our commitment to action to address the inadequacies in care, legislation and advocacy is reinforced.
IACAPAP’s statement and declaration about approaches to dealing with natural and man-made disasters can be found at:
- Declaration of Rome 2003: Caring for Children Affected by Maltreatment, War, Terrorism, and Disaster