Resources on Gun Violence


The following resources and articles are compiled to better inform and prepare psychologists to work with communities affected by gun violence.


The National Register’s Sourcebook of References on Gun Violence The National Register compiled this resource guide to assist psychologists and other mental health professionals who work with victims of gun violence, policy makers, and members of the public.

The Behavioral Health Response to Mass Violence SAMHSA’s Disaster Technical Assistance Center created this recorded webcast on the psychological responses to mass violence and strategies and interventions that provide immediate support and mitigate long-term negative mental health consequences.

Managing Intense Emotions and Psychological First Aid When working with individuals who have just experienced a disaster or traumatic event, these communication tips from SAMHSA provide pointers on interaction when intense emotions are present.

Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event This SAMHSA resource for providers, parents, and teachers covers reactions that are common in specific age groups after traumatic events and suggests potential responses for all caregivers.

Effects of Traumatic Stress after Mass Violence, Terror, or Disaster This guide from VA’s National Center for PTSD outlines the emotional, cognitive, physical, and interpersonal effects of trauma and provides guidance for treating people experiencing acute stress disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder following a traumatic event.

Understanding Compassion Fatigue This SAMHSA publication identifies signs of burnout or secondary traumatic stress and tips on coping with compassion fatigue.

In the News:

The Math of Mass Shootings The death tolls change, the places change, but weapons are the common denominator. This interactive map from The Washington Post analyzes data from 50 years of mass shootings.

The AMA Calls Gun Violence “A Public Health Crisis” The American Medical Association has adopted policy calling for comprehensive public health response and solution to gun violence and has stated they will actively lobby Congress to lift their ban on CDC gun violence research.

A Plan to Prevent Gun Suicides The impulsive nature of many suicides, combined with the lethal efficiency of firearms, creates an exceptionally deadly pattern. Firearm sellers have become unlikely allies of public health authorities in the effort to put time and distance between a person with suicidal thoughts and their guns.

Untangling Gun Violence from Mental Illness A consistent and dangerous narrative has emerged in news media coverage when a mass shooting or other violent tragedy occurs: the perpetrator must have been mentally ill. In fact, only 4% of violence of any kind in the United States is attributable to a mental illness.

Extremist Beliefs Often Mistaken For Psychosis In order to better diagnose and understand perpetrators of mass violence, some mental health experts argue we need distinguish between delusion and ‘Extreme Overvalued Belief’ in the DSM-5.

These resources have been assembled from external sources and the content does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the National Register’s Board of Directors and staff.

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