Since the beginning of my tenure in Congress, I've heard from countless students who feel unsafe at school, parents
who fear for their children, and families who've suffered devastating losses due to firearms. Gun violence is
preventable, and it's shameful that so many in Congress have blocked any legislation that would end this uniquely
American epidemic. Tragically no community in America is immune to this crisis as Mainers learned tragically on
October 25, 2023 when 18 of our neighbors were killed and 13 injured in Lewiston by a gunman with an assault weapon.
I share the grief Mainers are feeling during this unspeakable tragedy, and my thoughts are with the families and
loved ones of those killed and injured. Please seek help immediately
if you or someone
you know is talking about suicide, feelings of hopelessness or unbearable pain, or about being a burden to
988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
—The 988 Suicide and Crisis
Lifeline is a source of support available 24/7 to people in crisis, including people experiencing challenging
reactions to disasters. Call or text 988
for support in English or Spanish.
SAMHSA Disaster Distress
—The SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH) provides free, confidential crisis
counseling and support to people in distress due to natural and human-caused disasters. The DDH is
available 24/7, on all days of the year, via talk or text to 1–800–985–5990.
The line also offers
support in Spanish (people who call or text should press 2 for this option) and several additional languages other
than English. People who are deaf or hard of hearing or who have other speech or hearing disabilities can use the
texting option or, if they would like support in American Sign Language (ASL), they can call the DDH's toll-free
number via videophone-enabled device or click the “ASL Now” link at the DDH website. This website is available in
Spanish at https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disaster-distress-helpline/espanol
Governor Mills has launched a “Healing Together” resource website that identifies places accepting financial donations to support victims, families, first responders, and responding organizations in wake of this week’s tragic shooting in Lewiston.
Mass Violence-specific Information
Incidents of Mass Violence—The SAMHSA Disaster Distress
Helpline supports survivors, family members, responders, and recovery workers who are
affected by incidents of mass violence and other disasters. Information on this web page includes a list of
signs of emotional distress related to incidents of mass violence, populations that may be at risk for
emotional distress after mass violence, and additional resources for coping.
Mass Violence/Community Violence—This part of the SAMHSA
Disaster Behavioral Health Information Series (DBHIS) resource collection focuses on
incidents of mass violence, community violence, and terrorism and their effects. Resources discuss common
reactions to incidents of mass violence, tips for coping, and ways to support children and youth in coping.
for Young Adults: Coping With Mass Violence—In this tip sheet, the SAMHSA Disaster
Technical Assistance Center discusses ages 18 to 26 as a phase of development and explains how incidents of
mass violence may affect people within this phase. The tip sheet highlights common reactions to mass
violence, tips for coping, and resources for disaster behavioral health support.
General Disaster Response and Recovery
for Survivors: Coping With Anger After a Disaster or Other Traumatic Event—Developed by
SAMHSA, this tip sheet intends to aid survivors in coping with bouts of anger that may follow disasters or
traumatic events. The tip sheet describes the physical changes that may indicate anger and provides guidance
for coping and integrating positive habits into your life, as well as resources for additional support.
The Impact of
Disaster and Mass Violence Events on Mental Health—Intended for mental health and
substance use disorder treatment professionals, this online article from the National Center for
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) summarizes research on common reactions to disasters. The article
identifies common reactions in disaster-affected communities and describes how reactions increase and
decrease in communities over time, as well as highlighting risk factors for longer term reactions.
Adults—Part of the Psychological First Aid Field Operations Guide, this handout
identifies common reactions in adults who have experienced a disaster or other community crisis, suggests
responses, and offers examples of things to do and say to cope. These suggestions and examples include a
breathing exercise for relaxation, prioritization of responsibilities that feel overwhelming, and tapping
into existing relationships for support.
This resource is available in Spanish at https://www.nctsn.org/resources/pfa-consejos-para-adultos.
Resources for Children, Youth, Families, and
Trauma—This web page from SAMHSA presents statistics on child trauma, which may be
experienced as part of a natural or human-caused disaster, and lists signs of traumatic stress in children
and youth. It also offers tips for parents and other caregivers for helping children and youth to cope with
trauma. Links are also provided to downloadable infographics in English and Spanish provided by the SAMHSA
National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative.
to a Traumatic Event—In this fact sheet, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network
(NCTSN) provides an overview of how children and adolescents may react to a traumatic event, including a
natural or human-caused disaster that they experience as traumatic. This resource describes reactions
typical within specific age ranges and offers tips for families, doctors, and school personnel to help
children and adolescents cope. This tip sheet is available in several languages other than English.
Coping after Mass
Violence—Written for parents and families, this NCTSN tip sheet provides information
about common reactions to mass violence and self-care tips for those living in communities where an incident
of mass violence has taken place. The tip sheet also includes external resources for individuals seeking
For Teens: Coping After
Mass Violence—Written for teens, this NCSTN fact sheet shares insight into common
reactions to mass violence. In addition, the fact sheet provides tips for teens to cope and care for
themselves, as well as connect with others after mass violence occurs. This tip sheet is available in
Spanish at https://www.nctsn.org/resources/for-teens-coping-after-mass-violence-sp
Youth after Community Trauma: Tips for Educators—In this 1-page tip sheet, the NCTSN
identifies 10 ways youth may react to community traumas such as natural or human-caused disasters and
suggests ways for educators to respond to these reactions and support youth in coping. The tip sheet also
advises educators to find professional mental health support for youth—and for themselves—as needed.
Guidelines for Helping Youth after the Recent Shooting—In this 3-page tip sheet
released shortly after a shooting, the NCTSN describes how such an event may affect children and teens as
well as parents and other caregivers. The tip sheet lists reactions common among people of all ages, offers
coping tips for caregivers, and suggests ways for caregivers to support children and youth in talking about
and managing their reactions. This resource is available in Spanish at https://www.nctsn.org/resources/guia-para-los-padres-para-ayudar-los-jovenes-despues-de-un-tiroteo-reciente.
From Large-Scale Crises: Guidelines for Crisis Teams and Administrators—In this tip
sheet, the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) describes what to expect in schools after
disasters and other crises and how school crisis teams and administrators can support the school community
in coping and recovery. NASP identifies steps administrators and crisis teams can take at different points
after the crisis, from immediately after the crisis to more than a year later.
Talking to Children about the
Shooting—In this tip sheet, the NCTSN provides suggestions to parents and other
caregivers for talking with their children in ways that help them to make sense of and cope with their
reactions to a shooting. The tip sheet also identifies reactions common in children and teens to shooting
Resources for Disaster Responders and First
A Guide to
Managing Stress for Disaster Responders and First Responders—This SAMHSA guide is
designed for first responders, public health workers, construction workers, transportation workers, utility
workers, crisis counselors, and volunteers who respond to disasters and other crises. The guide provides
information on how people experience stress; signs of extreme stress; and ways for organizations and
individuals to manage and mitigate stress before, during, and after disaster response.
Helping Victims of Mass
Violence & Terrorism Toolkit—Available through the website of the Office for
Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center, this toolkit includes information and resources
to help communities prepare for and respond to incidents of mass violence and terrorism. While some parts of
the toolkit focus on steps to take before an incident, other sections are designed to support responders in
participating in and managing effective response and recovery processes.
Violence—Developed by the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Technical
Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) team, this resource
collection is designed to help emergency managers, public health professionals, and other responders support
communities affected by an incident of mass violence. The resource collection features no-notice incident tip
sheets, topical collections, newsletters, and other materials about community response, family
assistance, emergency medical considerations, and responder safety and health.
First Aid Field Operations Guide, 2nd Edition—Developed by the National Center for PTSD
and the NCTSN, Psychological First Aid is an evidence-informed approach that disaster response workers can
use to assist people in the immediate aftermath of disaster. The NCTSN also provides a Spanish-language
version of the guide at https://www.nctsn.org/resources/primeros-auxilios-psicologicos-guia-de-operaciones-practicas-2da-edicion.
Trauma Toolkit—Provided by the Office for Victims of Crime within the U.S. Department
of Justice, this online toolkit is designed to help responders and others who are exposed to the traumatic
experiences of other people in coping with the effects of this exposure. The toolkit includes information
and resources specifically for emergency medical services, fire, and law enforcement, as well as victim