A Message About The Mass Shooting In Highland Park From Thresholds’ CEO

Dear Thresholds Family,

I’m writing in solidarity with the families and communities torn asunder by a 4th of July weekend of mass shootings and violence.

In Highland Park, seven people were killed, and dozens more, ranging in age from 8 to 85, were injured. In Chicago, eight more people were killed and more than 60 shot. The terror inflicted here at home and throughout the country feels surreal. But it’s not. It’s real. Very real. It feels almost unbearable, and it’s causing immeasurable trauma.

Thresholds is working to support our clients and staff throughout the agency, particularly those connected with our programs in Lake County. I am so grateful for our incredible clinicians and residential staff who are equipped to provide trauma-informed support to those who need it.

It is critical to continue to hope, even when that seems impossible. And we must continue to fight, march, organize, and support policy change and structural reform that addresses gun violence. The recent bipartisan Safer Communities Act is a step in the right direction, but it is not enough. Too many communities are living with the effects of gun violence – and in Chicago, these communities are disproportionately Black. Research and our own professional experience tell us that the trauma of violence erodes both mental and physical well-being, stripping away communities of opportunity and stability.

When tragedies like the massacre in Highland Park occur, we know that many people, including the media, will begin to question the mental health status of the perpetrator. As a community that supports mental health, we must all continue to push back against this harmful stigmatization of mental health conditions. Most of the millions of Americans living with mental health conditions do not commit violent crimes, and this false narrative will only further discourage people from getting the treatment and support they need. No dangerous person should have access to a gun, whether or not they have a mental health condition.

We at Thresholds will never stop fighting for a world where individuals can live safe, independent, and healthy lives that they can determine for themselves. People cannot realize these lives in communities torn apart by the specter of gun violence. We remain committed to strong measures to reduce gun violence everywhere in our country.

-Mark Ishaug, Thresholds CEO

Posted In: News