Saturday, December 14, 2013

NAMI’s Newtown Prayer: Share Reflections on Dec. 14

By Bob Carolla, NAMI Director of Media Relations

Much has happened this week as the one-year anniversary of the tragedy that occurred Dec. 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

The White House held a meeting with the families of the children and teachers who died. Vice President Joe Biden announced a $100 million increase in federal funding for the mental health care system. News media were in overdrive putting developments over the past year in perspective. To a significant degree, they relied on NAMI’s State Legislation Report, 2013 including a major story in USA Today and an interview on Washington Post TV

Policies, laws, systems, money, politics and media interviews seem inappropriate, however, for the actual anniversary date. One major news story in fact has been that most news media will stay out of Newtown this weekend at the request of the families. The weekend should be a time for quiet reflection and spiritual renewal.

Many people may participate in special candlelight vigils or offer prayers in regular religious services to observe other anniversary. NAMI members will be sharing their own special prayer, which we encourage everyone to share:

Please remember the children and teachers of Newtown, Conn. who died one year ago.

Remember the mother and troubled son who also died.

Remember all who have died or been affected by tragedies, whatever the cause, at home or abroad.

Remember also individuals and families affected by mental illness, who often need help but cannot get it.

Please give us the power to continue the past year’s national dialogue on mental health and find better ways to help people sooner rather than later.

Please grant us all peace, hope and renewal throughout the holiday season ad in the new year to come.

2 comments:

Dianne Williams. Proud Mother of a Mental Ill young adult. said...

If he is doing an increase they way are places being closed, due to funding. Why are amazing centers like the Abbe Center for Community Care closing. As a mother in fear and tears for my son, who has mental Illness. WE have learned Nothing since Sandy Hook.. Nice show.. Washington.. Yet now real work has been done.

Elaine Hutchison said...

Thank you for posting your thoughtful prayer. I have a son with schizophrenia and my heart aches for all parties concerned. Mental illness can not and Must Not be ignored. I believe that future tragities can be more likely adverted through early intervention.
If we want a better society then we need to start with our children. Social skills training in public schools could be a turning point for a more compassionate and tolerant society. Just as there is P.E. & music, there should also be a social skills training to mold and to mentor and to provide a safe environment where ALL are accepted and feel valued and part of the whole. The class could provide a safety net to catch those that struggle early on, and early intervention can be started. Through role playing and teaching instruction grades K-12, the social skills classes could cover a wide range of common social issues that "grow" as the children do. They could include anti-bullying and coverage of basic human virtues, such as kindness, empathy, honesty, respect for all and so on. In order to have a better society we need to reach out to our children.