Resources for Libraries to Help Communities Heal after a Mass Shooting

As community centers and social connectors, and as providers of trusted information, libraries can play an important role in helping their communities heal after mass shootings. In this blog post we share a few resources and documents that library staff may be interested in using when assisting community members, co-workers and themselves.

ASPR TRACIE’s Post-Mass Shootings Programs and Resources Overview
ASPR is the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. TRACIE is the Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange operated by the ASPR. This document, recently updated in April 2019, contains both programs and resources that are available to communities affected by mass shootings. Please note: Spanish language resources on pages 6 and 7.

APA Resources for Coping with Mass Shootings, Understanding Gun Violence
Resources from The American Psychological Association (APA) related to coping with mass shootings and understanding gun violence. 

APA What Happens to the Survivors
“Long term outcomes for survivors of mass shootings are improved with the help of community connections and continuing access to mental health support.” An excellent article that reiterates the importance of community-based events and community connection in healing after a mass shooting. 

Colorín Colorado – 15 Tips for Talking with Children About Violence
“These suggestions for parents and educators provide guidance on how to talk about school violence or mass violence in a community, discuss events in the news, and help children feel safe in their environment. These resources were originally compiled following the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The article has been updated as new resources are made available.” Please note: links to a downloadable tip sheet from the National Association of School Psychologists on how to talk to children about violence and safety, translated into multiple languages.

The Healing Library
“The Healing Library is a series of kits designed to make a family’s journey of healing following a trauma easier to navigate and personalize. Designed with the intention of being lent out by libraries, the materials for these scalable kits are available for free to download and assemble yourself.” In the aftermath of a mass shooting, libraries may be interested in the kit, “The Death of a Loved One.”

How Communities Can Begin to Heal in the Wake of a Tragedy: A Three-Step Plan for School Administrators, Teachers and Community Members
This article was written by David Schonfeld, a professor of practice in social work and pediatrics at the University of Southern California, as well as a developmental-behavioral pediatrician who serves as the director of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement.

SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline: Incidents of Mass Violence
A popular resource linked from several of the resources cited above, we include this link because it contains more detailed information about the Disaster Distress Helpline for those who might be deaf/hard of hearing and/or Spanish speakers. It also contains downloadable helpline brochures and wallet cards (see the links along the right side of the page).  

Please contact us any time with questions about this or any other topic at, 1-800-252-9386, or 512-463-5465. Libraries are the cornerstones of strong, resilient communities, and TSLAC is committed to supporting the important work you all do every day.

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