Sunday night, on UVA Grounds, it happened. Five students were shot. Three of them died. While the shooter was still at large, the university went into lockdown. Clinics closed. Area schools didn't open. But even when the suspect was in custody, there was no returning to normal.
Three of Our Own: Read about the three UVA student-athletes we lost Sunday night.
This tragedy feels both shocking and painfully familiar. Gun violence and the threat of it has become a permanent fixture in the news cycle and our lives. We've struggled with helping our kids process the news of school shootings. Even when threats put them into lockdown, we comfort them with statistics. How do we talk to them about a mass shooting that happened just down the street?
And while no words are adequate enough to account for this loss, sharing our grief in whatever forms we can is one way we can try to support each other.
This was a key theme in the message UVA Health leadership delivered on Tuesday:
The tragic events that happened on UVA Grounds Sunday night and into Monday morning were nothing short of devastating. It is impossible to comprehend that so many lives were lost in mere seconds, a story that has become all too familiar across our great country. Health care systems share a unique perspective on this growing crisis and the impact that innocent lives lost and those forever changed by gun violence has on the health and well-being of our communities.
Today, as we resume our daily work together in service of care for our patients, we grieve for the victims, their families, and our extended communities. Our mission compels us to stand united in support of our shared vision of healing and safeguarding human life. We understand that, together, our common humanity brings people together, builds healthy communities, and strives for the holistic health of everyone. As a health system, we are united on this path. This is who we are and what we stand for, and we will remain steadfast to our vision of transforming health and inspiring hope for all Virginians and beyond.
Talking to Your Kids
Once again, we're having to talk to our kids about Charlottesville violence.
Grief & Trauma Resources
Gun violence impacts each of us. Make sure to take care of yourself. Here's some straightforward tips on dealing with tragedy and loss.
Don't be afraid to ask for help. Mental health can suffer after events like this. You or your kids might have PTSD. Caring for your health helps you show up for the people in your life. Find mental health resources.