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Mass shooting long term affects on survivors

Grace Lutheran School held an active shooter training for law enforcement in Bannock County Thursday. Teachers and students within the school also participated in the training.

This training is to mitigate mass tragedy in the event of an active school shooter. Although today’s training is geared towards reducing casualties, the consequences of mass shootings affect survivors months to even years after.

According to the National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, 28 percent of people who survive mass shootings develop PTSD, almost a third of survivors develop an acute stress disorder.

Fortunately, there has only been one incident at a school in Idaho resulting in no deaths. However, there 97 people have been killed in mass shootings in 66 separate incidences within the U.S. in 2019. Just last night, two men were killed and a man and woman were injured when a gunman opened fire in a Seattle street.

Healing from traumatic experiences is no easy task. Cody Evans, a counselor in Pocatello has had first-hand experience counseling someone who survived the Las Vegas shooting in 2017. “A lot of the time, their mind is going to go back to the original trauma that they originally experienced,” Evans said. That within itself can leave them feeling almost paralyzed in some particular circumstances.”

However, studies suggest that community support can play a critical role in the healing process. Candlelight vigils and memorials after a tragedy allow a bonding experience for those who are emotionally vulnerable.

“A candlelight vigil can help that victim see that they’re not alone and that they may have had one very traumatic moment in their life,” Evan said. “That that doesn’t have to be the norm in their life. There are people in the community that do love them and that do care about them.”

PTSD can develop from various situations. However, studies suggest it some can be treated with counseling and community support. 97 people have been killed in mass shootings in the U.S. in 2019.

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