A statement from Raymond E. Crossman, President of the Adler School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Crossman was appointed the fifth president of the Adler School of Professional Psychology in 2003. A professional psychology school leader and faculty member since 1992, he is a past president of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology.
Today, February 15, President Obama visits Chicago. He is expected to address the city’s — and America’s — struggle with gun violence. How will the President’s visit change our conversation and our actions?
Chicago and the nation are remembering 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, killed so recently here in Chicago, as an innocent victim of tragic gun violence. When will all children who die on our streets from gun violence be recognized as “innocent?”
We consider these questions in light of the Adler School’s longtime work with communities and conversation with others about violence prevention and gun violence prevention. This week, we are taking the conversation online.
There is much to discuss. Elena Quintana, Executive Director of the Adler School’s Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice, will share her perspective as part of the PBS documentary After Newtown: Guns in America premiering across America on Tuesday, February 19. And, starting today, the Adler School blog and social media sites will focus on the intersection of gun violence, public policy, and mental health—bringing together too-often disparate discussions to support deeper conversation about truly healthy communities.
At the Adler School, we train our students to look at social determinants of mental health, knowing that in order to improve the overall health of communities, we must address the factors—the social determinants—that affect individual and community well-being.
It is the same when we look at violence. We need to factor in the circumstances in which people are born, grow up, live, love, and work. When we do this, we find that many social determinants that can lead to lack of mental health and violence are linked.
To make a person well, in body and mind, we must first make the community healthy by putting in place policies and support systems that improve the well-being of its residents. To keep youth from turning to gang violence, we must provide them with supportive communities in which they feel safe, supported, and included.
This is why, for the next week at the Adler School, we are coming together for ongoing discussion. We will look at the ways we are working in communities to prevent violence – well before it happens – by addressing social injustices and by advancing inclusive, supportive and healthy environments.
Social change starts with conversation, which then leads to action. We hope you will join us by adding your voice.
About the Adler School
The Adler School of Professional Psychology has provided quality education through a scholar/practitioner model for 60 years. The School’s mission is to train socially responsible graduates who continue the visionary work of Alfred Adler throughout the world. The Adler School offers graduate-level programs enrolling more than 1,000 students at its campuses in Chicago and Vancouver, British Columbia, and through Adler Online.
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