Psychiatric Community Convenes to Offer Condolences in Arizona

Jan 14, 2011

The Arizona Psychiatric Society and the American Psychiatric Association joined together to remember the victims of the Tuscon tragedy. The shooting left 6 dead and 14 others wounded, including US Rep Gabrielle Giffords, who lies in a medically induced coma recovering from a gunshot wound to the head.

The Arizona Psychiatric Society and the American Psychiatric Association (APA) joined together on January 8 to remember the victims of the Tuscon tragedy. The shooting left 6 dead and 14 others wounded, including US Rep Gabrielle Giffords, who lies in a medically induced coma recovering from a gunshot wound to the head.

APA president, Carol A. Bernstein, MD, stated, “Our hearts go out to the friends, colleagues, and family members of all those killed or injured.”

Violence like this not only affects those in the immediate community but also the entire nation. This is especially true when reports and speculation saturate the media and leave citizens feeling vulnerable. “It's important in times like this to be aware of people’s varied responses to an event like this, and to provide support to the people around us who may need understanding and help coping,” said Dr Bernstein. This includes family members and other individuals who may be especially sensitive to news overexposure: “Parents and individuals who have contact with vulnerable persons should be cautioned about possible overexposure to media reports and provide opportunities for conversation and balance.”

The Arizona Psychiatric Society has also reached out to offer assistance: "I and my colleagues. . .express our condolences to the families of those caught up in this tragedy,” said Michael Brennan, MD, president of the Arizona Psychiatric Society (a district branch of the APA). “We stand ready to assist in any way that may be helpful. Just as the staff of the University of Arizona Department of Psychiatry has so rapidly responded to the community, we stand ready to assist the community."

Dr Bernstein stressed the importance of recognizing that people with mental illness are not likely to become violent: “The vast majority of individuals living with mental illness are not a threat to others,” she said.

Details available at the APA.

x