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NASW-PA ISSUES STATEMENT ON TRAGIC SHOOTING AT MERCY FITZGERALD HOSPITAL

Monday, July 28, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Tara Breitsprecher
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          CONTACT: Tara Breitsprecher

July 28, 2014                                                                                                  (717) 232-4125

 

NASW-PA ISSUES STATEMENT ON TRAGIC SHOOTING AT MERCY FITZGERALD HOSPITAL

 

Camp Hill, Pa. – National Association of Social Workers, Pennsylvania Chapter (NASW-PA) Executive Director Ron Simon issued the following statement today about the fatal shooting at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Pa.

 

“First, our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Theresa Hunt, the caseworker who was killed during the incident. Hundreds of social workers and caseworkers perform their duties in facilities just like Mercy Fitzgerald on a daily basis across the commonwealth, and this is certainly an extreme example of the risks inherent in that work,” Simon said. “NASW-PA is committed to improving safety for social workers and all disciplines that work in health care.”

 

“Unfortunately shootings like this have become commonplace in a variety of places including schools, shopping malls, movie theaters, grocery stores and others. However, this tragedy is especially harrowing because it took place in a hospital, precipitated by a patient who was there for mental health treatment.”

 

According to media reports, the gunman had a history of violent behavior which barred him from one treatment facility. Additionally, he had been committed for treatment in other incidents, but those stays only lasted a short period of time.

 

“For many years, NASW-PA has advocated for more resources to be devoted to mental health treatment, as well as a continued dialogue nationally so the stigma associated with a mental health diagnosis is abated. If our policymakers commit to those steps, hopefully it will pave the way for people to get the treatment they need,” Simon said.

 

For commentary, questions or concerns, please contact Tara Breitsprecher at 717-232-4125 or by e-mail at tara@nasw-pa.org.

 

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NASW is the largest membership organization in the U.S. for professional social workers, serving more than

150,000. NASW-PA represents 6,000 members in Pennsylvania and works to enhance the professional growth and development of social workers, create and maintain social work standards, and to advance sound social policies.

 


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