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DBHIDS Commissioner’s Statement: Addressing Renewed Trauma on Anniversary of MOVE Bombing

May 14, 2021

This week marks the 36th anniversary of the 1985 bombing of a Black liberation group in which 11 people, including five children, were killed and an entire African American neighborhood burned to ashes by the City of Philadelphia. The MOVE bombing is one of the most heinous incidents of racial violence in the city’s history. 

The horrors of May 13, 1985, have not been forgotten. The painful anniversary coupled with the recent news of improper handling of the remains of some of the victims renews and heightens not only the traumas of 1985, but the mistrust and ongoing racial traumas experienced by people of color across the country. 

During this very difficult time, I want to remind the people of Philadelphia: You are not alone. Help is here. 

The Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services stands ready to support individuals and communities with a wide range of programs and services. Learn about some of our trauma and resilience services at DBHIDS.org/boost. CBH Member Services is available 24/7 to answer questions and help identify resources at 1-888-545-2600. As always, anyone experiencing a mental health crisis should call 215-685-6440 immediately.

In addition to these broadly available resources, we urge those who are able to explore options made available by their employers and medical insurance, such as Employee Assistance Programs, telephonic assistance, group meetings, and more. 

It’s OK to not be OK. We are here to help.

Together we can help to heal the effects of trauma in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection. 

Thank you,

Jill Bowen, Ph.D.

DBHIDS Commissioner


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