Our hearts are with the families, coworkers, and friends of those affected by the April 15, 2021 workplace shooting in Indianapolis, the deadliest in Indiana’s history. As an organization, Valley Oaks is dedicated to advocating for those with mental illness and substance abuse disorders here in our home state, but we are also deeply committed to the importance of mental health for the social, economic, and cultural wellbeing of everyone.
We want to be clear: Anger, hate, intolerance, and intimidation are not indicators of mental illness. Instead, they are predictors of violence, along with having a history of violent or aggressive behavior, a history of physical abuse, or involvement in the criminal justice system. Anyone––child or adult––exposed to violent events can experience lasting effects on their mental and physical wellbeing. Several factors can lead to an increased risk of violence such as divorce, unemployment, sudden personal loss, substance abuse, or victimization.
Violent behavior is not a standard behavior for people suffering from mental illness, and we hope to avoid stigmatizing the countless community members we serve each day who work to better themselves and contribute to our community’s growth.
Valley Oaks recognizes our role as an integral provider of mental health services consistent with our mission and the needs of our community. To read more about how you can support someone you love, visit our HealthHub for articles such as Signs that Your Loved Ones May Need Mental Health Support During COVID-19 or the World Health Organization’s stance on today’s epidemic of mental health challenges.
If you or someone you care about is struggling to cope, please, contact us today or reach out to the Be Well Crisis Helpline at 2-1-1. We are here to help.