Prior to having the honor of being Director for the CSW, I worked in the University environment for over 14 years. I spent most of that time working with students and their families, supporting them during stressful moments. The theme at the college level was “I am not going to hand-hold you”. When you are helping students navigate roommates who never sleep, professors who perhaps don’t understand their students, and parents who think “my child would never try drugs” — sometimes tough love and the hands off approach is what is needed. This theory is different than outside of the supportive walls of academia.
Out in the “real world” as it has been called, there are resources to help people but they are not easy to find. Imagine looking for a flashlight in your home when the power goes out. You know you put it somewhere in case of emergencies but you just cannot seem to put your hands on it. That is what happens when we are struggling with distressful and overwhelming times in our lives. Communities, especially ones like Newtown, need to have a place that will help individuals and families figuratively and sometimes literally find the flashlight (the hidden resource) or find a way to make it brighter.