International Bipolar Foundation expresses our profound sorrow after the tragic shooting at an Orlando nightclub on Sunday. While we do not yet know whether the shooter suffered from mental illness, the impact to the mental health of victims and their families as well as to the community cannot be ignored. We extend our sympathy to all those affected by this tragedy, including those who identify with the LGBTQ community and anyone who is reminded of past trauma because of this terrible event.
At times like these, it’s important for all of us to pay attention to our mental health. Sadness, anger, fear, hopelessness, and anxiety are all common emotions in response to horrible, senseless tragedies like this one. We encourage people to share their feelings with friends, family, and professional counselors. If you or someone you love experiences any warning signs such as withdrawing from friends and normal activities, changing sleep habits, increasing substance use, or talking about death and dying, please get help! There is hope.
The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. You can reach them here: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ or by calling 1-800-273-TALK. For international numbers, check this site: http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html The Trevor Project, which supports LGBTQ youth, also has a round-the-clock hotline: 866-488-7386. International Bipolar Foundation does not offer a crisis line, but we can connect you with resources as well.
Let’s all help each other to practice self-care as we mourn for young, bright lives lost and seek to find a way beyond hate to inclusion and respect for everyone.