Tuesday, November 22, 2022

APA Denounces Anti-LGBTQI Rhetoric in Statement Following Colorado Springs Shooting

APA on Monday issued a statement expressing sympathy for the victims and survivors of the shooting that took place late Saturday at Club Q Nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Responding to the shooting that left five people dead and at least 18 injured at a nightclub that has served as a haven for gay and transgender people in the conservative Colorado Springs area, APA denounced anti-LGBTQI rhetoric as well as rhetoric linking violent acts of hate to mental illness.

“Hate has no place in America. Violence based in hate is abhorrent. Bias toward LGBTQI people, whatever form it takes, hurts mental health,” APA stated. “We stand opposed to laws and rhetoric that discriminate against this community, whether it is promoting dangerous conversion therapy or restricting provision of health care services to trans or gender-diverse individuals. We stand in solidarity with the LGBTQI community in the aftermath of this devastating event and in the ongoing discrimination its members face, with the hope that one day we will turn the page.”

As APA has responded to past acts of mass gun violence, the organization asserted that gun violence is a public health crisis. “APA has worked over the past years, often in concert with other physician and mental health organizations, … to promote legislation that strengthens background checks, research, and other methods to control access to firearms,” APA stated. “At the same time, APA strongly opposes rhetoric that would link violent acts of hate and mass shootings to mental illness. Mental illness is prevalent across the globe, but this level of firearm violence is unique to the United States.”

“We … mourn the lives of those who were lost and send support to those recovering from injuries,” APA stated. “Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the victims, and we urge whoever may need it to seek mental health support in the aftermath of this tragedy.”

The APA statement encouraged anyone feeling overwhelmed by the tragedy in Colorado Springs to call 988, the national mental health crisis hotline, or visit APA’s website for additional mental health resources on coping after a disaster and traumatic events.

For related information, see the Psychiatric News Alert APA Implores Congress to Act to Prevent Firearm Violence.”

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