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Resources for Mainers in Wake of Lewiston Mass Shootings

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 others. 

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 Helpline—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

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.

  • Tips 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 Information

  • Tips 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. 

  • Tips for 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   

Resources for Children, Youth, Families, and Schools

  • Understanding Child 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.

  • Age-related Reactions 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 further support.

  • 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

  • Helping 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.

  • Parent 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

  • Recovery 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 incidents.

Resources for Disaster Responders and First Responders

  • 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.


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