Gun Violence – Listening Session07/19/2022
In early July alone, the Gun Violence Archive (GVA) has documented over 300 mass shootings. Currently, the number of gun-related deaths this year in the United States is 23,513. Since 2013, the GVA has collected and validated incidents of gun-related violence from 7,500 sources. Their nearly decade of evidence-based research shows a continual increase in deaths and injuries from firearms. This country’s gun-related violence is exacerbated by racial tensions, severe mental health issues and political division over the Constitutional intention of the phrase ‘right to bear arms.’ The escalating violence makes this a critical topic for Community Health Centers (CHCs) to address. CHCs provide care to over 28 million people across the country. Nearly 63% of those patients identify as minority populations who may adversely be impacted by gun violence.
In response to gun violence, many of you have already independently implemented programming and training for staff and providers to develop a trauma-informed response and collaborate with communities. AllianceChicago has prioritized gun violence as a public health issue to address. As the COVID pandemic has demonstrated, there is a power in CHCs providing mutual support and lessons learned to positively impact communities. We want to join the conversation and provide an opportunity to share concerns, discuss options and inform solutions.
This Call to Action is to open a forum for dialogue to:
– Brainstorm what to be prepared for and/or share your CHCs gun violence plan
– Share methodologies for administering “mental health first aid”
– Share concerns on how CHCs can set up mechanisms to respond to acute trauma.
AllianceChicago would like to serve you all as a supportive partner in facilitating these important conversations. In Fall 2022, AllianceChicago will be participating in a workshop in collaboration with other Health Center Controlled Networks (HCCNs) and Primary Care Associations (PCAs) to formulate the elements of a trauma-informed action plan to support health centers in the aftermath of gun violence events. We plan to report back and share resources, toolkits, and trainings as an output of this workshop. If you are interested in participating in a listening session to provide insights or would like to share your thoughts, suggestions, and work to-date, please contact us at PublicHealthInitiatives@alliancechicago.org.