Our hearts go out to the friends and families affected by the school shooting in Troutdale. Maggie Bennington-Davis, Chief Medical and Operations Officer took a moment to reflect on why this is happening with more frequency in this blog post.

This morning a shooter entered Reynolds High School near Troutdale; the shooter and one person are dead. Although school shootings are unfortunately more and more common, this one feels awfully close to home, with few (if any) degrees of separation from our daily lives.

WHY DID THIS HAPPEN? There just isn’t a simple answer to that. So many complex variables are at play.  As I mentioned, school shootings seem to be happening more frequently – so part of why this is happening is that it is more often (now) considered in the repertoire of people who are feeling desperate, just by virtue of the fact that it is happening more often. In other words, it is happening more often because it is happening more often. People feel desperate for lots of reasons – and Cascadia employees understand that at a deep level. Many Cascadian’s help people back away from those desperate feelings every day.

Perhaps society has a role in these events as well – violence in our “play” lives (videos, games, movies) is more prevalent now, and maybe more acceptable? Certainly the early development of coping skills (or not) has a big impact, as we have learned from the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study.

As I consider all of us affected by this shooting and how we at Cascadia can help, I encourage you to be in contact with those people in your life who help you to feel safe. Practice activities that help you feel in control of your body – mindfulness, meditation, exercise. Check out the National Child Traumatic Stress Network website on school shootings for a good resource.

In addition to the many professional supports available such as Cascadia, Multnomah County has established a mental health resource center at Mt. Hood Community College gymnasium. That center is being staffed by counselors from Multnomah County, FBI Victim’s Services, and Trauma Intervention Program (TIP) and the Reynolds School District from 1:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m. today and will be staffed tomorrow as well from 7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.

Take good care of yourselves, your friends, and your families. Stay safe.