APsaA Statement on Gun Violence and Suicide Risk



Mental Health Impact of Trauma Reverberates For Years

Statement on Gun Violence and Suicide Risk

New York, NY – March 26, 2019 – The American Psychoanalytic Association (www.apsa.org)  is saddened and distressed by recent reports that two surviving teenagers from the Parkland shooting and a surviving father from the Sandy Hook shooting died from suicide in the past week. Our condolences and thoughts are with their families and friends.

While suicide is complex and cannot be attributed to one single cause, we do know that trauma caused by gun violence can reverberate for years. Research and clinical experience has shown it can contribute to developing serious mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and substance abuse, all of which increase the risk for suicidal behavior.

As the leading national association for psychoanalysts, we continue to call for a multifaceted approach to addressing gun violence that includes national and local legislation, partnerships with mental health organizations and experts, and an in-depth analysis of violence in our culture. Our association also continues to advocate for increasing access to mental health care while decreasing stigma and other barriers to seeking help.

We urge media to utilize the Media Recommendations Reporting on Suicide when covering these recent deaths. More than 100 years of research show that certain ways the media reports about suicide can contribute to suicide contagion.

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out for help. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255).

About APsaA

The American Psychoanalytic Association is a professional organization of psychoanalysts with approximately 3,300 members. The Association is comprised of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, educators, researchers and students who have an interest in psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic therapy.  Visit www.apsa.org for more information.


Media Contact:
Wylie Tene
Director of Public Affairs
212-752-0450 ext. 29