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Recent Suicides Reveal Lasting Impact Of Mass Shootings On Mental Health Of Survivors

A woman cries during a candlelight vigil for the victims of the Wednesday sho...

Credit: Associated Press

Above: A woman cries during a candlelight vigil for the victims of the Wednesday shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018.

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Suicide Prevention Resources

San Diego Access & Crisis Line: (888) 724-7240

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Tragedy has struck again in two communities affected by mass shootings.

Last month, two survivors of the Parkland, Fla. school shooting took their lives and the father of a Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim also died of an apparent suicide.

Dr. Shiva Ghaed, a clinical psychologist at the San Diego Naval Medical Center and a survivor of the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in 2017 in Las Vegas, said the recent suicides reveal the long-term mental health effects of experiencing mass violence.

"The invisible injuries, which include trauma symptoms like PTSD, mood, anxiety disorder, have the potential to last far beyond the point where the news dies down," she said. "Although the majority of people who experience trauma do recover, for some people who have fewer resources or less resilience and a history of trauma, depression or anxiety, one more trauma may compound on those pre-existing issues."

Ghaed is also author of a new book to help mass violence survivors. The book, "Route 91: Healing From Mass Violence and Trauma," can be downloaded for free on her website.

She joins Midday Edition Wednesday to discuss the need for long term mental health support for survivors of mass shootings.


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