During the evening hours of February 13, students, faculty, and staff at Michigan State University (MSU) became the latest in the all too frequently growing list of victims of senseless violence. Our thoughts are with the marriage and family therapy program students, faculty, and staff, as well the entire MSU community, as they navigate the days ahead and begin to process this terrible tragedy.
For those on campus, MSU Counseling and Psychiatric Services, or CAPS, is partnering with local providers to offer counseling to students in need starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14. Counselors will be available at the Hannah Community Center located at 819 Abbot Rd, East Lansing, MI 48823.
Last summer, AAMFT joined over 60 organizations recognizing the deep impact on mental health caused by gun violence. Gun violence is a public health crisis, and the trauma and fear caused by mass shootings significantly worsen Americans’ mental health. A large majority of adults in the United States experience stress associated with mass shootings, and a third of U.S. adults say that fear of mass shootings stops them from going to certain places and events. [i] Moreover, research has shown that victims and members of affected communities experience increases in posttraumatic stress symptoms, depression, and other signs of psychological concerns. Other studies have found that, after previous mass shootings, youth felt less safe and more fearful. [ii] These findings, many of which are unsurprising, make it all the more important to take urgent action to prevent these shootings, particularly in light of our nation’s ongoing youth mental health crisis.
Our organizations welcome continued bipartisan efforts to improve our country’s mental health and substance use systems. These should be pursued because they will enhance our collective well-being, improve and save countless lives, and lead to a more vibrant and resilient country. However, what these reforms alone will not do is address the epidemic of mass shootings. To prevent more carnage, policymakers must act now to address the national crisis of gun violence and work on a bipartisan basis to pass meaningful solutions that promote gun safety in all of our communities.
Further reading: AAMFT Clinical Fellow Tina Timm shares her first-hand account of the MSU shooting and its impact on students and faculty at the University with the Lansing State Journal.
- On-campus: MSU Counseling and Psychiatric Services, or CAPS, is partnering with local providers to offer counseling to students in need starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14. Counselors will be available at the Hannah Community Center located at 819 Abbot Rd, East Lansing, MI 48823.
- The resources below have been created by member MFTs or compiled by AAMFT to help support this process:
To share a resource with our community of MFTs, please contact us.
- American Psychological Association (APA) (2019). One-Third of US Adults Say Fear of Mass Shootings Prevents Them from Going to Certain Places or Events. Retrieved from:
- For a description of relevant research see: Lowe SR, Galea S. The Mental Health Consequences of Mass Shootings. Trauma Violence Abuse. 2017 Jan;18(1):62-82. doi: 10.1177/1524838015591572. Epub 2015 Jun 17. PMID: 26084284.