The events of December 14, 2012 will be remembered as a national tragedy. The recent anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre stirred up feelings of heartbreak as people across the nation remembered the day 26 lives, 20 of whom were grade school children, were lost.
Wanting to avoid any frenzy of media or influx of out-of-town well-wishers, the people of Newtown, Connecticut asked that people across the country find their own ways to pay tribute. As the Newtown community remembered their loved ones throughout the day, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama observed a moment of silence Saturday morning and lit 26 candles set up on a table in the White House Map Room. Nationally, Americans committed to community service to recognize the importance of the day.
“Newtown’s ask of the world for the anniversary is to stay where you are and do acts of kindness and honor those we’ve lost,” said David Ackert, chairman of the Newtown Foundation and Newtown Action Alliance.
A somber day, indeed, but out of that tragedy was born a nationwide focus on mental illness and an impetus for education on mental health and well-being. Since last year’s tragedy, mental health has risen to the top of the list of national priorities. Organizations such as Sandy Hook Promise, government initiatives, and advocates have stepped up to the challenge of educating and promoting mental health awareness throughout the nation.
We here at NARIC are also doing our part in the push for mental health awareness. Check out the NARIC collection for the latest on NIDRR research relating to mental illness and mental health. We also recommend visiting the following projects from the NIDRR community:
The RTC for Pathways to Positive Futures www.pathwaysrtc.pdx.edu
The Temple University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Community Living and Participation of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities www.tucollaborative.org
The RRTC on Psychiatric Disability and Co-occurring Medical Conditions http://www.cmhsrp.uic.edu/health/
Learning and Working During the Transition to Adulthood. http://labs.umassmed.edu/transitionsRTC