The health harms from mass shootings are spread across communities

A grim and familiar pattern followed the procession of mass shootings across America. In its aftermath, the nation’s attention is focused on the immediate victims of the attacks, the dead and injured, and their families, friends, and witnesses.

But a growing body of research reveals that the negative effects of mass shootings extended further than previously understood, harming the health of local populations not directly affected by the violence. Mental health experts say the recognition should prompt authorities to direct more attention and resources towards preventing such events – and helping a wider group of people after the fact.

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