UK HealthCast: Resources for those affected by gun violence

Amy Burnett

UK HealthCast is a podcast series featuring interviews with UK HealthCare experts on a variety of health-related topics.

For this episode, we spoke to Amy Burnett, DNP, APRN, about the mental and physical implications for those impacted by gun violence, and resources available to those affected. 

What long-term effects do gun-violence victims face?

Burnett: After the initial trauma, some disability may occur from the actual gunshot wound, but (there are) very significant psychological effects after dealing with such a major trauma. We see a lot of anxiety, we see depression, we see PTSD symptoms. Especially in kids and adolescents, these symptoms can manifest differently than they do in adults. And if not treated early, they can have lifelong mental health implications. Also, the families that deal with the gun violence, they experience a lot of grief, anxiety, depression, PTSD of their own that they have to deal with. 

How does gun violence affect a community?

Burnett: We're seeing a lot of kids living in these neighborhoods where there are high rates of gun violence, where they hear gunshots on a regular basis. They hear about people they know being shot. So those kids are kind of growing up in this constant state of fear and high stress. And developmentally, we need stability and safety.

What can family and friends do to support those who have experienced gun violence?

Burnett: Checking in with them on a regular basis is extremely important, letting them know that, yes, the event is over, but we understand that long-term, it's never going to be over for you most likely. There's a lot of community resources here locally. I feel like the past couple years, they've really tried to develop a lot of community resources for gunshot victims, for their families. 

What mental health services does Kentucky Children's Hospital offer to support victims of gun violence?

Burnett: At UK, we're lucky that we have a specific adolescent medicine clinic. This clinic is very good with dealing with kids in high-risk situations. It's a comprehensive primary care clinic. So they come for all their regular needs, but we do regular screening on all patients for mental health concerns. If we notice a mental health concern, then we can connect those patients with mental health services within UK and outside of UK and just help them find resources.

Listen to the UK HealthCast episode with Amy Burnett below.

This content was produced by UK HealthCare Brand Strategy.

Topics in this Story

    Mental Health