The ten-year anniversary of Sandy Hook is here. As communities across the country sit in silence and raise flags to half-staff, MHC hopes 12-14-22 will be a day to reflect and honor. It’s also a time to think about how each of us can emulate the courage of families and communities affected by Sandy Hook by creating positive change.

As families and communities share their grief and loss with all of us, they also continue to devote their lives to taking action and making this world a better place. The horrific tragedy that occurred on December 14, 2012 at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown will forever be remembered as one of the darkest days in Connecticut’s history. The lives of 20 children and 6 school staff were taken far too soon in an act of unimaginable violence ten years ago today. Tragedies such as this remind us that we must come together as communities to stand against all forms of violence and to foster safe environments for all to thrive.

Governor Lamont is directing U.S. and State of Connecticut flags to be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Wednesday, December 14, 2022, in remembrance of Sandy Hook. These gestures are a recognition of incredible loss and grief, and it also raises the question for us all: How do we use this tragedy and loss to make things better for all of our families moving forward?

We each have the power to do this, in big or small ways.

In Avon, students led a fundraiser to support the Ana Grace Project, a Newtown church offered a musical healing ahead of the anniversary date, Barack Obama and others attended a fundraiser for Sandy Hook Promise, and many articles like this one from EducationWeek talk about the importance of understanding that trauma will reemerge for victim’s families and continue to cause injury. It’s important for all of us to tread lightly this week, and to recognize that only the victim’s families and communities truly know what they need to process and heal.

What can you do? Reviewing the list of all the organizations started by Sandy Hook families, is a great place to start when thinking about how you can take action.

Mental Health Connecticut stands in solidarity with all of the families that were affected by the loss of their loved ones and is committed to support change working with communities in CT, and beyond, to reduce acts of hatred and violence across this country. Together, we will and can do better.