After Deadly School Shootings, Antidepressant Use Spikes Among Student Survivors

Nation/World
Mourners hug at a vigil held for shooting victims on Nov. 17, 2019 in Santa Clarita. (Credit: Apu Gomes/Getty Images)

Mourners hug at a vigil held for shooting victims on Nov. 17, 2019 in Santa Clarita. (Credit: Apu Gomes/Getty Images)

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.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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