Following the tragedy that took place Sunday, Oct. 1 in Las Vegas, where 59 lives were lost and over 500 people were injured at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, To Write Love On Her Arms founder Jamie Tworkowski has a message for those who might be feeling afraid, confused or angry. See the video below.
TWLOHA has also just released a special shirt, which you can purchase here. For every shirt sold, $8 will go to providing trauma and grief counseling for those affected by the recent tragedy in Las Vegas.
In addition to shirt sales, the organization has set up a Classy page with the goal of raising $10,000 for local mental health resources in the Las Vegas community.
Watch Tworkowski's message below, or read the transcript:
Read more: Hate has no home in the music community
“We all go to concerts and festivals to feel free, to feel safe, to feel less alone. If you’re watching this on the Alternative Press site, my hunch is you are someone who relates to those statements. You’re someone who cares about music, who appreciates music, and probably has great memories of concerts and festivals. Obviously we saw, once again, something awful happen in a concert-festival setting Sunday night in Las Vegas, and now we’re all trying to make sense of that tragedy. Certainly our hearts break for the lives that were lost, for the people who were injured, for really the thousands of people who experienced trauma on Sunday night in Las Vegas.
“As for you, whatever you’re feeling, I wanted to take a moment and just say that it’s valid. If you’re afraid, if you are angry, if you are confused, if you are sad – it’s okay. And you’re not alone in whatever you’re feeling, whatever questions you’re asking, whatever you’re wrestling with. My guess is other people are asking those questions as well. Crisis text line is a great resource here in America. At any hour of any day, you can send a text to 741-741 and you will get a response from a trained crisis counselor.
“If you’re afraid, if you are angry, if you are confused, if you are sad – it’s okay.”
“In general, professional counseling is something we love and believe in. I’m a person who struggles with depression, and I’m a person who goes to counseling. At the moment, I go every single week, and it’s something that has really helped me. So, if you feel like you need to ask for help, there are some things you need to talk about, seeing a licensed mental health counselor can be a great place to start; and we believe in those resources. We believe in the men and women who do this unique, important work.
“Beyond that, I think it’s a time to learn more about how we can ask for change and how we can fight for change. Other countries in the world don’t have the same problems with gun violence that we have here in America. So what does it look like to learn about this issue here in America, and to say we dream of a different world and we dream of a safer America? Where we can go out in public, we can go to a festival or concert, and we can feel safe. Because we deserve that – you deserve that. And so as you feel what you feel and begin to walk through that, I would encourage you also roll up your sleeves and know that your voice matters. Know that your vote matters. And maybe more than anything, know that you’re not alone. Thank you.”
“I would encourage you also roll up your sleeves and know that your voice matters.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness, there is help to be found. Please consider these online resources and talk to your regular doctor about your symptoms:
MentalHealth.gov – Get Immediate Help
ImAlive – Online Crisis Network
International Association For Suicide Prevention – Resources
The Anxiety And Depression Association Of America
The National Alliance On Mental Illness
American Psychiatric Association – Finding Help
National Institute Of Mental Health
American Psychological Association – Psychologist locator