Managing Mental Health Amid Gun Violence

The past few years have been difficult for the city of Philadelphia and its citizens. Not only did Philadelphians have to prioritize safety from COVID-19, they were also surrounded by increased gun violence. In 2021, Philadelphia saw a record number of 486 homicides by shooting as well 1,846 non-fatal shootings. While numbers are down slightly from 2021, the city — on the heels of a mass shooting in South Philadelphia — is still experiencing a surge in shootings over the last two years

Gun violence is a serious concern not just in Philadelphia, but nationally as well. And it comes as no surprise that gun violence can have a lasting effect on the mental health of victim’s families and loved ones. But it can also have a negative impact on the mental health of those who are not directly affected by it. With the plague of gun violence that has covered Philadelphia recently, it is important to understand the effects in can have all its residents.

The Effects of Gun Violence on Mental Health

According to Clinical Psychologist Leah Blain, PhD, exposure to trauma, including to gun violence, increases the risk of negative health outcomes like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. These disorders can cause and exacerbate a wide range of physical health concerns, such as hypertension, pain, and even gastrointestinal issues.


Read more on Penn Medicine News >>

June 21, 2022 | Penn Medicine News featuring Dr. Leah Blain

Back to Top