My heart goes out to the friends and family of the 1,200 people lost and 2,700 wounded during the Hamas’s attacks. As I learn more about the attacks, I am shaken by the violences committed by one human to another. As part of the MHC community, I know you share our vision of a future where wellbeing is rooted in respect for the condition of being human. The crimes committed this past weekend were a clear affront to the human condition. There is no justification for the atrocities perpetrated against innocent civilians, including men, women, elderly, and children, and I condemn the actions taken.
The Hamas’s attacks add to an already increasing amount of global conflict and violence. In the United States, hate crimes and gun violence are rampant. The Federal Bureau of Investigation reported a nearly 12% increase in hate crimes in 2021 over the previous year. Of those attacked, 65% were targeted because of their race or ethnicity, 15.9% were targeted for their sexual orientation, and 14.1% were targeted because of their religion. In addition, the number of deaths and injuries from guns has increased annually, with gun deaths increasing by 35% from 2018 to 2022. Violence can lead to mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and PTSD, that impact an individual across the course of their life and can be transmitted across generations.
What can we do?
I, as a fellow member of the MHC community, understand that you may be grappling with the question of “what can we do?” Right now, we at MHC are continuing our ongoing advocacy efforts and striving to support impacted communities by providing mental health resources. You can join us in this mission by helping to increase awareness of the impact of violence on mental health and by sharing these resources. Among my friends, coworkers, and family, I have reached out and checked in. I invite you to do the same. As violence continues to grow, our greatest strength lies in standing together in the face of this violence and saying, “No more.”
Luis B. Perez, LCSW
President and CEO