Greetings ASAE Community,
Today we are all struggling to process the tragic and senseless massacre of children and teachers at a Texas elementary school. This shooting, the deadliest to unfold at an American school in nearly a decade, comes on the heels of one of the deadliest racist massacres in recent history at a supermarket in Buffalo.
I cannot imagine the pain and anguish these events are causing for people personally connected to the victims. While humans are resilient, no one should have to bear the intense grief of losing a child or loved one in this manner. My heart goes out to the people and communities directly affected.
I also want to acknowledge the impact these events have on all of us across the country and around the world. It is human nature to watch or read reports of incidents like this and ask ourselves, “What if this happened here?” Life can be so fragile and unpredictable, and it is truly impossible to remain unaffected. A Pew Research Center survey conducted before the Buffalo shooting highlights how top-of-mind safety concerns are for Black Americans.
In the association community, we are all connected, and I encourage everyone to pay attention to your mental health and the feelings of those around you in these troubling times. Mental health is on my mind a lot these days, as I’m sure it is on yours. The pandemic, war in Ukraine, mass shootings and violence in our communities – it is all so emotionally affecting.
ASAE has recently joined other organizations in making a commitment to transform the workplace culture by prioritizing employee mental health and signing onto an initiative called Striving for Mental Health Excellence in the Workplace, led by the American Psychological Association (APA), American Public Health Association (APHA), International City/County Management Association (ICMA), National League of Cities and YMCA of the USA.
As association leaders, basic care for employees’ mental well-being is critical to our community and culture. I invite you to join ASAE and the growing list of organizations committing to mental health excellence in the workplace.
Thank you for taking a moment to read this message, and I hope we all take some time today to practice self-care and recognize those around us who may need some extra support at this time.