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DBHIDS Commissioner Statement on Incident During Philadelphia’s July 4 Celebration

Before the chilling images from the July 4 Highland Park shooting that left six dead and dozens injured outside of Chicago even had a chance to settle in our minds, the news started coming in of a shooting on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway during Philadelphia’s beloved Fourth of July fireworks show – followed by a new series of images showing thousands of people fleeing in panic down our streets and past our landmarks.

Virtually every day – even during times of celebration – our lives are frighteningly interrupted by gun violence. This is a national and local crisis, and these experiences are compounded by the many ongoing traumas we all have been facing including COVID-19, isolation, centuries of institutional racism, economic disparities, and more.

I write today to remind you that – especially in a time like this – many may feel overwhelmed, upset, confused, or fearful. You truly are not alone. The City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) and our allied provider network are here to help.

I urge you to take advantage of the many resources available to you as outlined in the support card, “Have You Experienced Traumatic Stress?” and at dbhids.org/boost.

Or call (888) 545-2600 to be connected to support; (267) 233-4837 for our Network of Neighbors initiative to help communities respond to trauma; or the Philadelphia Crisis Line at (215) 685-6440 for behavioral health crisis support.

The regularity of these events is heartbreaking. The untold impact it has on each of us – including Philadelphia youth and families, so many of whom attended these celebratory July 4th events – cannot be ignored. But DBHIDS stands ready to help. We remain committed to serving individuals and communities, especially in these challenging times, so that all Philadelphians can thrive.

Thank you,

Jill Bowen, Ph.D.
DBHIDS Commissioner

From the City: July 4th shooting on the Parkway: Information and resources for residents