By Leah Fertig
Active and mass shooting events have been filling our news feeds recently both nationally, such as the New Zealand shooting at two mosques on March 15, and locally, including the most recent school shooting at Frederick Douglas High School in Baltimore, MD on February 8. According to published crime statistics, there were 340 mass shooting incidents in our nation last year; a total of 373 people were killed and 1,347 were injured. One would like to think that once the shock of the tragedy is over and loved ones are laid to rest or those injured are released from hospitals that the effects of mass shootings end there. Sadly, that’s not the case; there are long-lasting, negative emotional effects that continue for weeks, months and lifetimes.
When it comes to mass shootings, it’s important to realize it’s not only those directly connected to a tragedy who feel the long-lasting effects. For example, the Frederick Douglas High School shooting in Baltimore did not only affect the victim who was injured, but also the entire student body and the institution’s staff, faculty and administrators. Trauma comes in many forms and is unique to each individual and how they, and their families, cope.
The National Center for PTSD explains there are four phases following mass violence: Impact, Rescue, Recovery
There seems to be no limit to the location in which an active-shooter tragedy can occur; they happen in places we should feel the safest, such as places of worship, malls, movie theaters, concerts
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