Children's Hospital Colorado

We Must Protect Our Most Vulnerable

Children's Hospital Colorado | May 26, 2022

Jena Hausmann, President and CEO

*Edited to reflect Bipartisan Safer Communities Act: June 22, 2022

Children’s Hospital Colorado is profoundly shocked and saddened by the tragedy that occurred yesterday at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Our hearts break when we think of the families and communities impacted  and the unimaginable hardships they are facing.

Twenty-one lives were lost in one of the deadliest school shootings in our country’s history. Every life lost was one too many.

Enough is enough

As an organization dedicated to reimagining child health, Children’s Colorado aspires to see a day when school shootings are a thing of the past. Even beyond these devastating events that make headlines worldwide, care teams at Children's Colorado see the unrelenting impact that gun violence takes on children and families in our state through accidents, abuse, violence and suicide.

These unbearable tragedies must stop. We urge our elected leaders to come together now to develop policies that will protect our children. Children’s Colorado is here to partner in finding research-driven and evidence-based solutions to this complex but critically important issue.

Opportunities for taking action

For those who want to act now, you can contact your elected officials. You can also sign up for our Child Health Champions network to get engaged and raise your voice on child health issues and policies at the local, state and federal level.

Tips for talking with your kids

For those with children, please review these tips from a Children’s Colorado child and adolescent psychologist who provides guidance on how to talk to kids of all ages about the tragedy in Texas. It is important to remember that tragedies like this have a wide impact and can be a source of trauma.

Now is the time for all of us to come together to create safe schools and communities where our children can thrive.

*Children's Colorado Supports Federal Legislation to Invest In Youth Mental Health and Help Address Gun Violence Against Children

Children’s Colorado supports the federal Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which makes investments in youth mental health and meaningful steps to prevent gun violence.

“We have seen how gun violence impacts children and families across the nation, including here in Colorado, and it is devastating. As an organization that works to keep kids safe, but all too often treats children injured by gun violence, we support the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act,” said Children’s Colorado President and CEO Jena Hausmann. “This bill will take meaningful steps to save lives and improve mental health services for children, youth and families. Congress must do far more to fully address this youth mental health crisis, but today we urge lawmakers to pass this measure as quickly as possible.”

The bill will support school and community-based mental health services for children and families, increase services for those coping with traumatic experiences, and hold states accountable for providing better mental health services to children and youth. It would also enact a number of gun safety provisions, including incentives for states to adopt “red flag” laws that allow courts to remove guns from people who are an imminent threat to themselves or others, implement enhanced background checks for gun purchasers under age 21, and restrict firearm ownership for those with a proven history of domestic violence against children or intimate partners.

Beyond the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, Children’s Colorado is working with federal lawmakers on transformative legislation to end the youth mental health crisis. Additional details on those separate legislative efforts are expected in the coming weeks.