April 11, 2019
As the nation’s leading non-profit organization for advancing the art therapy profession, the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) provides our members and the public we serve with important content to support the wellbeing of all individuals, families, and communities. The following resource offer information about the traumatic impact and aftereffects of gun-related violence in our communities, families, and schools, as well as in the media.
About Trauma, Gun Violence, and Coping
- Coping in the Aftermath of a Shooting – American Counseling Association
- Managing Your Distress in the Aftermath of a Shooting – American Psychological Association
- Effects of Traumatic Stress After Mass Violence, Terror, or Disaster – National Center for PTSD
- Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event- A Guide for Parents, Caregivers, and Teachers – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Art therapists are master-level clinicians who facilitate active art making, the creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship. Through the use of art, individuals can express, manage, and explore coping strategies to aid in managing strong emotions, reactions, and effects experienced due to crisis and trauma. Art therapists are trained in trauma-informed care and are well equipped to support communities hit by tragedy and those who are distressed as a result of tragic events and experiences. In addition to providing support in the wake of a tragedy art therapists promote safe communities and support violence prevention strategies through the life-affirming efforts of art-making and creativity.
The AATA will continue to advocate for a path forward toward comprehensive legislative solutions to firearm-related injuries and fatalities and for a stronger presence of mental health care providers, including art therapists. To enhance our influence on federal legislation, the AATA collaborates with leading national organizations and coalitions to present a united and more powerful voice on national issues involving health care, the arts, and education.
National advocacy addressed in letters by the AATA and its partner organizations include:
- Call for Action to Prevent Gun Violence in the United States issued by the America Interdisciplinary Group on Preventing School and Community Violence urging a public health approach to protecting children and adults from gun violence.
- Letter to the House of Representatives and letter to the Senate urging a bipartisan path forward for comprehensive legislative solutions to firearm-related injuries and fatalities.
Additional AATA Resources:
- South Florida art therapists offer free services in aftermath of Valentine’s Day shooting
- Charleston heals through art: HeARTS mends hearts
- AATA Blog: Trauma
- Suicide Prevention and Awareness Best Practices for Art Therapists and Resources for the Public
- To locate an art therapist near you, please access AATA’s Art Therapy Locator or contact one of AATA’s local Chapters in your state.