How to Support Survivors and People Impacted by Gun Violence
People impacted by gun violence can experience ongoing trauma, including a high risk of suicide. These resources identify ways to support those in need.
Especially during social distancing and self-isolation, it is essential that we share lifesaving mental health tools and resources
When someone experiences gun violence — whether in a mass shooting, suicide by gun, domestic violence, unintentional shooting, or another form of gun violence — the mental health effects are long-term and devastating. For months and years after, survivors, families, friends, and affected communities can face a range of harmful psychological effects, including PTSD, substance misuse, self-harm, major depressive disorders, and panic attacks, among others.
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.
In order to stem trauma, it is crucial that we provide emotional support to people and communities affected by gun violence. That includes immediate survivors, those living or working in impacted areas, the loved ones of victims, school professionals, first responders, and recovery workers.
Remember to check in, check up, and check often
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.
More Suicide Prevention Resources
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. For more tips and tools, check out these extensive resources compiled by Team ENOUGH, our youth-led program.
- National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text 741-741
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
- Teen Line: 800-TLC-TEEN (852-8336) or text TEEN to 839-863
- SAMHSA Disaster Distress Hotline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746
- Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860
- LGBT National Youth Talkline: 800-246-7743
- Steve Fund: Are you a young person of color? Feeling down, stressed, or overwhelmed? Text STEVE to 741741
Mental Health Resources on Coping Amid COVID-19
COVID-19 has particularly isolating effects for people who already lack mental health resources, including veterans, people of color, and LGBTQ communities.
- Taking Care of Your Mental Health During the Coronavirus Outbreak, AFSP
- Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19, CDC
- Coronavirus: Mental Health Coping Strategies, NAMI
- Coping With Coronavirus: Managing Stress, Fear, and Anxiety, NIMH
- How LGBTQ+ People Can Get Help and Resources During Coronavirus, Them
- The Emotional Impact of Social Distancing on LGBTQ+ People, The Mighty
- COVID-19: Veteran Resources for Managing Stress, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs