The children who experience a school shooting but live to see their parents and friends again are often called survivors. But by at least one measure of mental health, they too are among a gunman’s victims, new research finds.
In the two years after a fatal school shooting, the rate at which antidepressants were prescribed to children and teens rose by 21% within a tight ring around the affected school.
The increase in antidepressants prescribed to kids grew more — to nearly 25% — three years after a school shooting, suggesting that survivors’ depression lingers long after the incident has begun to fade from a community’s memory.
This first-ever effort to measure the mental health consequences of school shootings in the U.S. was reported Monday in a working paper published by the National Bureau for Economic Research in Cambridge, Mass. School shootings reached an all-time high of 17 in 2018, and as the number of incidents has mounted, so too has the number of students directly affected by them.
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