Mass violence resources: Preparing for the unthinkable
- Published July 28, 2022
Sadly, incidents of mass violence are becoming an everyday reality for children and families and for those who provide care to them. As of mid-July, there have already been more than 300 mass shootings in the United States in 2022.
Whether children or families are directly impacted by an event in their community or are experiencing distress from the ongoing reports of violent events, the people who provide services and support to children and families struggling in the wake of mass violence may find themselves unsure of how best to offer care.
“Our hearts go out to those impacted by these recent events,” says Jefferson Barrett, MD, MPH, FAAP, an EMSC Innovation & Improvement Center (EIIC) fellow in the Disaster Domain. “While we never want to imagine these tragedies may occur in our communities, like with any disaster situation, preparing and training for such events is critical to ensure children and families receive the best possible care when tragedy strikes.”
No one can fully prepare for tragic events, but many guides, tip sheets, and trainings exist to help those who support children and families after mass violence incidents — and to help them take care of their own needs, too.
The EIIC has collated several of such resources from trusted sources, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, and the National Mass Violence and Victimization Resource Center, on its Mass Violence Events Resources page.
These resources provide key messages and strategies appropriate for all levels and types of care, including prehospital, hospital, trauma, and more. Some are designed to be shared directly with families, while others offer strategies for difficult conversations, suggest referrals to additional services, or help health care professionals build and practice specific skills, such as Psychological First Aid.