Any words would invariably be inadequate in expressing the profound sadness and helplessness that we feel for the tragic loss of life in Uvalde yesterday. In the wake of this horror, there is no possibility of comprehending the loss, the void that weighs down our hearts in grief.
We grieve with the families of the victims, for those who responded to and provided care to the injured and for all those who have been traumatized. At this moment, we are called to continue in our missions of caring, healing and love. Carrying these missions forward now is particularly important as we seek to comfort our patients, our families and each other. Providing this care to others is, I know, difficult at a time when everyone feels such a sense of loss, of emptiness.
We acknowledge that there are different levels of help individually needed to cope with grief, stress and other complex emotions. If you need support, please reach out to many of the excellent resources we have available, several of which are listed below.
In the meantime, let’s keep each other close as we continue our vital life-affirming missions.
- UT Health Student Counseling Center. Call 210-567-2648 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that can provide “in the moment” support 24/7/365. Call 713-500-3327 or 800-346-3549. You can also go to https://www.uth.edu/uteap/about-us/contact-us. UT Health San Antonio has five (5) counseling sessions per each new presenting issue that is available to both full-time and part-time employees as an extra benefit that also extends to family members: spouse/life partner/significant other and children.
- Counseling available through the School of Nursing’s Wellness 360 employee health services.
- Mental health resources that offer additional assistance for grief management are featured on our intranet site.
- The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center is accepting donations. Appointments can be set up here or by calling 210-731-5590.
- Counseling is available through our UT Health San Antonio Psychiatry Clinic. Call 210-450-6450 for an appointment.
- Two articles from the American Psychiatric Association: Helping your children manage distress in the aftermath of a shooting and Coping in the aftermath of a shooting.
- Our UT Employee Assistance website offers additional resources. To log in, click on “Employees,” then “Employee Assistance Overview” on the drop-down menu. Enter your work email address when prompted.
- Scroll to the middle of the page and click on “LET’S GO.”
- You will see a webpage labeled “May is Mental Health Awareness Month.” Leave the page up and then click on the links below:
- This page identifies the breakdown by age group of how children react to disaster which you may find very helpful.
- This page identifies multiple articles and videos on grief and loss.
- This article helps understand how situations like this can impact individuals.
- This article refers to how to discuss tips on speaking with children on terroristic acts.
- Here is the link for resources for the Uvalde school shooting.
With great respect and appreciation,
William L. Henrich, MD, MACP
President and Professor of Medicine