NAMI Massachusetts mourns the continued and unnecessary loss of life due to gun violence. We acknowledge that these statements are made too often and too frequently. It is beyond time that our legislators address the immense devastation that gun violence has induced. As many have already seen, gun violence is the leading cause of death among children and adolescents in the United States.1 At this time, there are no more words that can be said, we need action.
For more information, you can read our previous statement on the matter. In that statement, we highlight that “[w]hile NAMI Mass upholds the mental health of the individuals impacted by gun violence, we want to be very clear that mental health conditions are not a cause or predictor of violence. In fact, we know that those with mental health conditions are more likely to be the victims of violence rather than the perpetrators. As we’ve seen countless times, the primary issue here is about access to guns. . . .”
Given the unimaginable, continued trauma imposed on the United States due to gun violence, we encourage you to check out our website for local support groups or contact our Compass Helpline for direct support if you are in need. It is time that change is enacted and these statements, while important, are not addressing the real, harmful, traumatizing reality of our world.
Below are additional resources and tools on how to cope with or process gun violence:
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) offers parents guidance on helping their children after a shooting. This fact sheet describes common reactions children may have, how parents can help them, and self-care tips after an event
- The San Diego County Office of Education offers resources for Educators on how to discuss school shootings.
- Sesame Street offers printable books and coloring books for parents, teachers, and mental health professionals to use when working with younger children who are dealing with traumatic experiences
- Colorín Colorado offers tips for talking with children about violence with multilingual information and resources.
1. Goldstick, Jason E., et al. “Current Causes of Death in Children and Adolescents in the United States.” New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 386, no. 20, 2022, pp. 1955–1956., https://doi.org/10.1056/nejmc220176
-You can also download the statement [PDF]