In the last five years, there have been at least 29 shootings with four or more fatalities. This month alone there was at least seven mass shootings across the United States, all occurring within the same week. We've barely had a chance to process the gun violence leading to the death of six AAPI women in Atlanta as attacks and violence on Asians and Asian Americans have been on the rise.
The constant news reports about the violence of mass shootings can lead to increased stress and anxiety. According to Mental Health America, violence—including gun violence—and fear of violence causes both trauma and 'toxic stress,' which is a contributing factor to the development of some mental health conditions.
It's also incredibly important to combat "the persistent myth that mental illness is a leading factor in mass shootings," which is stigmatizing and can contribute to fewer people seeking treatment. According to MentalHealth.gov, only 3 to 5 percent of violent acts can be attributed to those with serious mental health conditions, and it's actually ten times more likely for those with severe mental health conditions to be the victim of a violent crime than the general population.
Mind Share Partners has compiled the following list of resources to support both professionals and workplaces to cope with the aftermath of mass shootings.
I. Organizations and Resources for Professionals
[Organization] American Psychological Association (APA) The APA is the leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States, with more than 122,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students as its members.
[Organization + Program] SAMHSA's Disaster Distress Helpline The Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH) is a program of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) which provides crisis counseling and support for anyone in the U.S. experiencing distress or other behavioral health concerns related to any natural or human-caused disaster. Calls (1-800-985-5990) and texts (text “TalkWithUs” to 66746) are answered by a network of independently-operated crisis centers around the country, who provide psychological first aid, emotional support, crisis assessment and intervention, and referrals to local/state behavioral health services for follow-up care & support. The helpline's SMS service is also available in Spanish. Text "Hablanos" to 66746 for emotional support.
[Organization] Sandy Hook Promise Sandy Hook Promise is a national nonprofit organization founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Their intent is to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. By empowering youth to “know the signs” and uniting all people who value the protection of children, we can take meaningful actions in schools, homes, and communities to prevent gun violence and stop the tragic loss of life.
[Organization] National Center For PTSD The mission of the National Center for PTSD is to advance the clinical care and social welfare of America's Veterans and others who have experienced trauma, or who suffer from PTSD, through research, education, and training in the science, diagnosis, and treatment of PTSD and stress-related disorders.
[Organization] The National Child Traumatic Stress Network For parents and caregivers: The NCTSN's mission is to raise the standard of care and improve access to services for traumatized children, their families and communities throughout the United States.
[Organization] American Psychiatric Organization The American Psychiatric Association is an organization of psychiatrists working together to ensure humane care and effective treatment for all persons with mental illness, including substance use disorders. It is the voice and conscience of modern psychiatry. Its vision is a society that has available, accessible quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment.
[Organization] The National Council For Behavioral Health Trauma-informed, resilience-oriented care.
[Organization] Everytown The Everytown Survivor Network is a nationwide community of survivors working together to end gun violence. The Survivor Network connects survivors to each other, amplifies the power of survivor voices, offers trauma-informed programs, provides information on direct services, and supports survivors who choose to become advocates.
[Organization] Moms Demand Action A grassroots movement of Americans fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence.and treatment. Moms Demand Action has established a volunteer chapter in every state of the country and Washington, D.C. and is part of Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country.
See our comprehensive list of emergency resources for mental health, clinical resources, peer support services, and mental health organizations here.
II. Articles and Resources for Professionals and Leadership
[Article] "How to talk about tragedies like the Las Vegas shooting at work," Market Watch Suggestions for addressing tragic events sensitively with your coworkers.
[Article] “Managing your distress in the aftermath of a shooting,” APA: How to strengthen your resilience in the days and weeks ahead.
[Article] "Gun Violence Trauma: Beyond the Numbers," Social Work Today: Learn how the trauma impacts individual survivors, professionals who care for the victims, and areas left to suffer the impact.
[Article] "Coping with Stress Reactions After Mass Violence Events," American Red Cross The document is available in Appendix B.
Mind Share Partners is a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit organization that is changing the culture of workplace mental health so that both employees and organizations can thrive. We host communities to support ERGs and professionals, build public awareness, and provide workplace training and strategic advising to leading companies.