Dr. Smith Lee on Gun Violence and Trauma

Posted on June 22, 2022

Uvalde Memorial

In the weeks since a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Gov. Greg Abbott has promised that everyone in the community will have access to the mental health care they need. On Wednesday, the governor directed state’s Health and Human Services Commission to work with the Texas Education Agency to use all available resources to help those affected. 

Research has found that gun violence, even for those who aren’t physically injured, can cause lifelong trauma.

 “Experiences of gun violence are particularly hard to navigate, because they require us to both manage trauma and grief simultaneously,” said Jocelyn Smith Lee, an assistant professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. “And that’s a steep learning curve for anyone, but particularly for children.”