Over the past two decades, there have been more than 250 school shootings in the United States. Sadly, many students and teachers have died in these tragic events. Although the number of shootings seems high, a school shooting is actually a very low-probability event. But how do school shootings affect those who survived?
We wanted to see the effects of school shootings on students’ mental health. We examined the effects of 44 school shootings on an important measure of youth mental health: the number of prescriptions for antidepressants. We found out that school shootings lead to a significant increase in antidepressant use among children. Moreover, the effects on mental health can be long term. However, the effects on mental health are smaller in areas where there are more psychologists and social workers.