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How to Support Survivors and People Impacted by Gun Violence

Our country is facing a suicide crisis. Whether it’s young people, veterans, or older Americans, the suicide rate has been steadily climbing in recent years. To stem the problem, we must equip our communities with mental health resources.

Recently, two students who survived the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, and a father whose child was murdered at Sandy Hook in Newtown, CT, took their own lives. These tragic suicides have sparked a national conversation about the trauma caused by gun violence. When someone is shot — whether in a mass shooting or suicide by gun — the ripple effects are long-term and devastating. It’s in our hands to support individuals and communities affected by gun violence, including first responders, crisis workers, teachers, and school professionals.

Our resource, made in collaboration with the American Association of Suicidology (AAS), the Disaster Distress Helpline, and youth community activists, details how communities can support those impacted by gun violence.

The resource identifies common emotional and physical reactions to the trauma associated with gun violence and provides tools to support those in need. Some highlights:

  • Be mindful that traumatic events can cause emotional distress, particularly to survivors living or working in impacted areas, the loved ones of victims, and first responders, rescue, and recovery workers.
  • It’s crucial that we remember the importance of checking in, checking up, and checking often to support yourself and others in distress.

Supporting partners of the resource include:

  • American Association of Suicidology
  • Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
  • Disaster Distress Helpline
  • Education Fund to Stop Gun Violence
  • Everytown for Gun Safety
  • Gays Against Guns
  • Grandmothers Against Gun Violence
  • Newtown Action Alliance
  • One Pulse for America
  • States United to Prevent Gun Violence
  • Vibrant Emotional Health
  • Women Against Gun Violence

The resource follows Brady’s 2018 report, The Truth About Guns and Suicide. Every day, 63 people die by suicide with a gun, and firearm suicides have gone up nearly every year since 2006. These are preventable tragedies. But we must all act to prevent them.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please call the free and confidential National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.

Download the Resource Sheet

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