St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church - Naperville, IL

Effects of School Shootings

From the Behavioral Health Ministry

Nearly a quarter-million American children have experienced gun violence at their schools since the 1999 Columbine massacre in Colorado. The looming question is how such violence affects survivors over time. Stanford’s Institute for Economic Policy Research offered some answers. Antidepressant use among child survivors soared more than 21% in two years after a fatal incident, and grew to 24.5% three years out. There appears to be no effect on antidepressant prescriptions for adults. The trend is limited only to the age group most directly affected by a shooting at school. They found that the effects are smaller in areas with a larger proportion of psychologists and social workers — mental health professionals who focus on behavioral interventions rather than prescription based treatment. 

The findings from this research are concerning in light of the fact that mental health issues during childhood put an individual at higher risk for a variety of problems as an adult.

If you or someone you know has been affected contact your family physician, health department, school counselor or Pastoral Care at your Parish/Church for more information.

Source: Christopher Ingraham at The Washington Post.