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Condolences to Newtown & resources for help

Our country endured a terrible tragedy on Friday, December 14. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those in Newtown, Connecticut, particularly the friends, families and neighbors who have endured such a saddening loss. We further extend those thoughts and prayers to everyone across our nation and world who has been affected by this terrible tragedy or violence in the past.

There are no words to describe the senseless act that occurred in Connecticut. Tragedies such as this not only affect those directly involved, but everyone in our community and nation. We must support each other in the aftermath and ensure everyone receives the help and support they need.

The Governor of Connecticut has called on the nation to observe this Friday, Dec. 21, as a National Day of Mourning in memory of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. He is urging all of us to participate in a voluntary moment of silence on Friday at 9:30 AM EST.

Governor Patrick and Lt. Governor Murray  have answered Governor Malloy's call and will hold a vigil for peace at The Garden of Peace, located on the plaza behind 100 Cambridge Street in Boston.  People will gather on Friday, December 21st at 9:15 AM. To find out more about the National Day of Mourning and the moment of silence this Friday visit:

Below are a list of resources that may help. Our thoughts and prayers will continue to be with those affected by this terrible tragedy, and we hope they will seek the assistance they need to get through the weeks and months ahead.

  • Local communities throughout the country -- including many in Massachusetts -- are holding memorial services or vigils to remember the innocent lives lost and help individuals grieve and cope with the devastating news. Please check your local newspaper or area websites, which should have a list of events happening in your area. Some include:
  • The Disaster Distress Helpline, a service of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They can be reached at 1.800.985.5990 or by texting "talkwithus" or "hablanos" to 66746 at any time.
  • The American Psychological Association has tips on helping children manage distress in the aftermath of a shooting.
  • PBS' NewsHour has a list of resources on its website regarding explaining the tragedy to children. You can find the list here.
  • The New York Times has published an article about talking to children about the tragedy. "Tips for Talking to Children" is available at The New York Times website. 
  • interviewed a professor regarding frequently asked questions parents may have in discussing the tragedy with children.
  • Vinfen Corporation and Riverside Community Care will hold "Supporting Communities and Individuals after Large Scale Traumatic Incidents." It will include a showing of the 2011 film "Rebirth," a documentary about five individuals and their experiences dealing with the tragedy of Sept. 11. The event will take place on January 30, 2013 at the Hogan Center at the College of the Holy Cross and will feature a showing of the film, a panel discussion and a presentation on the latest developments in interventions for emotional trauma by the Riverside Trauma Center. Registration will be available on Vinfen's website after January 3, 2013.
  • The Association For Community Living's Community Resources for People with Autism program will host a drop-in event on Thursday, December 20 from 5 - 7 p.m. This is an opportunity for people to talk to a clinician about questions or concerns they may have about Asperger's Syndrome. April Stein form Servicenet, Meghan Carroll from Whole Children and Su Hoyle, who is a life coach for folks with Asperger’s, will be on hand as well as staff of Community Resources. The event will take place at 116 Pleasant Street, Suite 366, Easthampton, MA. Please call 413.529.2428 with any questions you might have.

We continue to extend our deepest condolences and sympathies to everyone affected by these horrific acts, particularly members of the Sandy Hook community and the entire town of Newtown, Connecticut. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this incredibly difficult time.