Violence being treated as a public health threat by Metro Health Department
Board of Health chairwoman Tene Franklin said they must focus on the root cause of violence, like education rates and job numbers, that people don’t think about.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Violence is now being treated as a public health threat by the Metro Nashville Health Department.
There have been more than 300 shootings so far this year and officials are looking for a solution to keep your neighborhood safe.
Talia Monget knows the pain of a murder too well, having lost her son in a shooting 11 years ago. She described it as a “hole in your heart that you cannot replace.”
“Gun violence is an epidemic, and we need to take this serious,” Monget said. “We have to do something for people to not feel the pain.”
She was one of several dozen community stakeholders brought together by the Metro Nashville Public Health for a town hall meeting on Monday night.
Board of Health chairwoman Tene Franklin said they must focus on the root causes of violence, like education rates and job numbers, that people don’t think about. They are working with Metro Nashville Police and other public authorities on issues at homes that lead to violence on the streets.
“It really takes a village in order to prevent violence,” Franklin said. “We’re here to help the community understand that it is not really straightforward. It is nuanced in which levers need to be pulled in order to prevent violence.”
There have been 71 murders so far in 2023, which is on track to hit more than 100 for the fourth year in a row. Franklin said they have to go beyond gun violence and gang activity to help people before they commit a crime.
That includes the health department investing in conflict resolution training, mental wellbeing resources and community cohesion campaigns.
“Ultimately, we want to make sure our youth have the best opportunities so they can grow up and live healthy lives,” Franklin said. “We all need to make sure we have the best support systems available for us to be healthy, and for us to prevent violence in our communities and violence in our homes.”
Metro health leaders are going to take feedback from this meeting to create a plan on the first steps to take going forward. Monget said she is hopeful it opens up a larger dialogue to keep more people from being hurt or killed.
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