August 8, 2019
Our hearts are broken for the communities of Dayton, Ohio, El Paso, Texas, and Gilroy, California, where shooters took the lives of 34 people and injured dozens more in the course of one week. In the United States, mass shootings are a public health crisis – enabled by easy-access to assault weapons and fueled by hate, racism, and bigotry. To begin to address this epidemic, we must focus on evidence-based solutions to reform our gun laws and support the mental health needs of our communities. We reject rhetoric from the President and others that incorrectly links mental illness with mass shootings and further stigmatizes those with mental health challenges.
We know that while the US is unique in its abhorrent rates of gun violence and mass shootings, the rates of mental illness are similar around the world. We encourage our members, as qualified mental health providers, to act as resources in their communities as people cope with trauma, both direct and vicarious, in the aftermath of continual mass shootings and acts of hate.
We would like to share two resources:
- The Traumatic Impact and Aftereffects of Gun-Related Violence, which offers resources on the traumatic impact and aftereffects of gun-related violence in our communities, families, and schools.
- The AATA’s Chapter Emergency Trauma Recovery Guide: Providing Art Therapy Services Following Natural and Man-made Disasters that was created to offer support in the event of terrorism and other disasters. This includes a special Trauma Recovery-Art Therapy Program Fund to support a victimized community.