To all State of Illinois Directors and Service Providers,
As the days pass we are now two weeks out from the tragic shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. This type of mass shooting is considered a "man-made Disaster" and has resulted in our nation's communities responding with grief, anger and being affected by trauma. Although Florida may seem far away from us in Illinois, media exposure, fear of what is possible for our own communities and the effects this intentional, violent event has touched our entire nation, particularly our children, youth, and first responders.
The trauma and crisis continues. Our State of IL CARES line has been inundated with calls requesting assistance for children and youth in crisis related to the mass shooting event in Florida. The front line is overloaded and this communication alert is being made in an effort to provide additional support that is clearly needed.
The Illinois Department of Human Services' Division of Mental Health wants our providers, schools and communities to have the information they need to assist youth, locate services, identify trauma, and implement appropriate behavioral health interventions. Please review the following links and PDFs which provide relevant, important information regarding how to respond to this crisis effectively.
Below is the Crisis Text Line and a link to the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress at Uniformed Services University. The link has particularly helpful information for both those affected by trauma and those in leadership positions who can help. There is also a direct link from our DHS/DMH website "Dealing with Traumatic Events." Attached are important information sheets from SAMHSA and The National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Please be vigilant in disseminating this information. Thank you so much.
Crisis Text Line:
1 (800) 273-TALK (8255)
Christina Flower, MA
Systems of Care Project Specialist
Child & Adolescent Services
Illinois Department of Human Services
Division of Mental Health
600 Ash Street
Building 500, Third Floor South
Springfield, IL 62703
Phone: (217) 558-0137
Fax: (217) 785-3006