Gun violence does not end when the trigger is done being pulled.

Violence is an epidemic and needs to be treated as such in a public health setting to ensure proper resources are available to people with trauma. The effects on the mental health of the community run deep and can be especially hard to recognize – even to the individuals themselves.

Whether you are a survivor, activist, journalist, have lost a loved one to gun violence, or are experiencing secondary trauma, we encourage you to reach out to someone for help. If you are dealing with any level of trauma it is important to recognize the trauma and seek proper resources.

As with any medical emergency, a mental health emergency can be life-threatening. If you are injured or you are in a situation that is potentially life-threatening, please seek immediate emergency assistance by calling 911.


Resources:

If you’ve lost someone and don’t know where to begin in taking care of yourself, here’s a guide on ways you can begin to cope with loss.

For the Parkland community that has been through so much already, visit Eagle’s Haven for education, family strengthening services, and wellness resources to help our community heal.

Want to talk to someone?

You can call or text any of these hotlines at any time of day, free of charge, whether it’s urgent or you just need someone to talk to. Visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline site to find specific resources for youths, LGBTQ+ people, disaster survivors, and more.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Crisis Text Line

Text HOME to 741741

Disaster Distress Helpline

1- 800-985-5990, which provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or man-made disasters.

Teen Line

(310) 855-HOPE (4673) or text TEEN to 839863

Want to help a friend? Here are five steps from the National Institute of Mental Health to support someone in emotional pain.


1. Ask:
“Are you thinking about killing yourself?” It’s not an easy question but studies show that asking at-risk individuals if they are suicidal does not increase suicides or suicidal thoughts and can help them feel more comfortable discussing what they're going through.
2. Help keep them safe: 
Reducing a suicidal person’s access to highly lethal items or places is an important part of suicide prevention. Attempting suicide with a firearm is fatal 85-90% of the time. Firearms in the home are a risk factor for suicide, which is why limiting access to firearms and other lethal means is critical for suicide prevention. While this is not always easy, asking if the at-risk person has a plan to harm themselves and removing or disabling the lethal means can make a difference.
3. Be there:
Keep talking to them, listen carefully, and try to understand what they’re thinking and feeling. Research suggests acknowledging and talking about suicide may in fact reduce rather than increase suicidal thoughts.
4. Help them find more support:
Save the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s number in your phone so it’s there when you need it: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You can also help make a connection with a trusted individual like a family member, friend, spiritual advisor, or mental health professional.
5. Stay connected:
Staying in touch after a crisis or after being discharged from care can make a difference. Studies have shown the number of suicide deaths goes down when someone follows up with the at-risk person.

Most importantly, know that you are not alone. People are here to help. We encourage you to be aware of the resources available.

END GUN VIOLENCE.

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