Mental Health America of Greater Dallas Grieves for Those Affected at Timberview Highschool Shooting

Offers Guidelines To Help In Responding To Impact of Event; Calls For Action To Prevent Gun Violence

Statement of Bonnie Cook, Executive Director of Mental Health America of Greater Dallas DALLAS (October 6, 2021) Mental Health America of Greater Dallas sends their support for all involved at the Timberview Highschool Shooting in Arlington, Texas. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and hope for the full recovery of those who were injured and everyone who is affected by this tragic event.

At this point, we do not know the motivation behind this traumatic event.

We do know that events like this will impact families and our surrounding communities. Many may feel at risk and may experience feelings of anxiety and fear. Parents may be groping with how to discuss these and similar events with their children.

In partnership with our national organization, Mental Health America of Greater Dallas has developed guidelines to help Texans respond and cope with tragic events, which can be found at To guide discussions about the shooting, Mental Health America of Greater Dallas offers the following suggestions for parents as they communicate with young people in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

  • Talk honestly about the incident, without graphic detail, and share some of your own feelings about it.
  • Encourage young people to talk about their concerns and to express their feelings, and validate the young person's feelings and concerns.
  • Limit television viewing. It can be difficult to process the images and messages in news reports.
  • Recognize what may be behind a young person's behavior. They may minimize their concerns outwardly, but may become argumentative, withdrawn or allow their school performance to decline.
  • Keep the dialogue going even after media coverage subsides. Continue to talk about feelings and discuss actions being taken to make schools and communities safer.
  • Seek help when necessary. If you are worried about a young person's reaction or have ongoing concerns about his/her behavior or emotions, contact a mental health professional at their school or at your community mental health center. Your local Mental Health America Affiliate can direct you to resources in your community.

Mental Health America of Greater Dallas’s website has a number of additional resources on its website to help provide support and perspective to those directly affected by the tragedy. ( ) Unfortunately, tragedies like these are happening far too often in our society. Gun violence is affecting too many lives. The expression of sympathies cannot be our only response. It is time to recognize that guns and gun violence are major public health problem and we need to desperately enact sound public policy that seriously addresses
gun control in Texas.

Public policy is only a partial solution. There is an abundance of research that provides us with the affects of gun violence on the social determinants of health. Let us all come together to create and sustain safe and supportive school environments and communities that address the needs of our adolescents to prevent violence in our schools.

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