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KYC’s Response to the Events in Florida

Dear Friends of KYC,

It’s been almost 19 years since the world was rocked by the mas­sacre at Columbine High. Since then, hun­dreds of peo­ple have lost their lives to gun vio­lence in schools. The news is filled with heartache, anger, and fear. As the moth­er of two teenagers, I strug­gle to find the words to express my deep­est sor­row for the 17 fam­i­lies griev­ing in Flori­da today. My thoughts and prayers are with each of them.

In the days to come, con­ver­sa­tions about men­tal ill­ness will con­tin­ue. One in five Amer­i­cans lives with men­tal ill­ness: this fact must remain at the cen­ter of our con­ver­sa­tions. Men­tal ill­ness is not syn­ony­mous with vio­lence. Ther­a­py and treat­ment, like the evi­dence-based work done at Ken­neth Young Cen­ter, helps peo­ple to live up to their full poten­tial, as with any oth­er illness.

If you or some­one you know needs help, we are a resource for chil­dren, youth, adults, and fam­i­lies. Call us: 847.524.8800. If you are con­cerned about someone’s health and safe­ty, call us: 847.524.8800. If you don’t know who else to call, call us: 847.524.8800. We are here to sup­port our com­mu­ni­ty and find ways to ensure the health and safe­ty of our neigh­bors and friends.

As our coun­try heals and looks to find ways to pre­vent the unthink­able tragedy that has plagued too many schools, movie the­aters, malls, church­es, and streets, togeth­er we must invest in men­tal health services.

Chan­nel your frus­tra­tion, fear, and sor­row over yes­ter­day’s tragedy into pos­i­tive action. Sup­port local, state, and fed­er­al gov­ern­ment efforts to increase fund­ing for men­tal health ser­vices. Be involved at KYC, your local schools, and com­mu­ni­ty groups. Part­ner with us to become informed on the signs of men­tal ill­ness and remain open about how it touch­es our lives. We can break the stig­ma. We can change the future of this coun­try. We can pro­tect our com­mu­ni­ties. Let’s do this together.

With hope,


Susan E. Cowen
Pres­i­dent and Chief Exec­u­tive Officer

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Amer­i­can fam­i­lies have a rel­a­tive who has a men­tal illness.

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—John F. Kennedy

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