IHPI member and her RAND colleagues propose a new initiative to help communities prepare, respond and recover
In a new post on the Health Affairs blog, IHPI member Mahshid Abir, M.D., M.Sc. and her colleagues from the RAND research organization describe what's known - and not yet known - about the best ways for communities to respond to the aftermath of school shootings and other mass casualty events at schools.
They write: "To be optimally responsive to the needs of survivors and facilitate the road to recovery in impacted communities, existing, evidence-based mental health treatments should be identified and disseminated to schools across the nation—not just in the immediate aftermath, but to also address the complex course of PTSD symptoms that may emerge months and even years after an event."
The authors propose a path forward that would include:
- Building community resilience through education and professional development for students, teachers, school-based mental health professionals and community members before shootings occur
- Using, and building on, existing school resources for long-term mental health support
- Seeking funding for implementation and evaluation of high-quality interventions for students who have experienced a school shooting
- Measuring adverse outcomes after incidents
- Doing research to develop media guidelines for reporting on school shootings