In Response to the Tragedy in Oak Creek, Wisconsin

CHAI is shocked and saddened by the shooting at a Sikh gurdwara outside Milwaukee this morning.

Executive Director, Razia Kosi, offers the following sentiments on behalf of our organization.

“Our hearts go out to our brothers and sisters in the community reeling from this tragedy. We hope our prayers for healing, justice, and peace find their way to those affected by this senseless act of violence.”

CHAI is a member of the National Coalition of South Asian Organizations, which is a network of community-based organizations that believe in common principles related to social change, and that provide services to, work with, convene, organize and advocate for South Asians in the United States. South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) currently coordinates the National Coalition and has mobilized their network to respond to the tragedy, using their listserv to share accurate information about the tragedy. CHAI received an email this morning from Deepa Iyer, Executive Director of SAALT, with a link to an article from a newspaper local to the temple. In addition, SAALT has been in touch with the Sikh Coalition and Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF).

Tragedy such as this can affect many people in different ways, it is difficult to predict how one might feel in the wake of something so terrible to which we are widely exposed, now more than ever, through a 24 hour news cycle. If you are experiencing distress in reaction to this awful event and have questions about mental health and wellness in response to trauma and crisis, please do not hesitate to call us for information, support, and referral for services. CHAI is dedicated to providing outreach, referral and educational services to the South Asian community on issues related to mental health and wellness. 443-615-1355

The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) also has a National Helpline available at 1-800-950-NAMI.

In sympathy and support,

Counselors Helping (South)Asian/Indians, Inc.

***While composing this post, CHAI received the following statement for wide distribution:

August 5, 2012

Statement by the President on the Shooting in Wisconsin

Michelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the shooting that
tragically took so many lives in Wisconsin. At this difficult time,the
people of Oak Creek must know that the American people have them in our
thoughts and prayers, and our hearts go out to the families and friends
of those who were killed and wounded. My Administration will provide
whatever support is necessary to the officials who are responding to
this tragic shooting and moving forward with an investigation. As we
mourn this loss which took place at a house of worship, we are reminded
how much our country has been enriched by Sikhs, who are a part of our
broader American family.

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