Young shooting survivors not receiving mental health help they need: report

When children are shot and survive, all too often they don’t get the mental health services they need.

That’s according to a new study released this week.

It’s research that resonates across the United States, including in the DMV. For instance, a 16-year-old was shot in Montgomery County Friday night, less than two weeks ago, a 14-year-old was shot in Prince George’s County, and earlier in May a sleeping 12-year-old was shot in D.C.

"The child is terrified. The families are terrified, and frankly, us as clinicians are terrified," said Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine & Pediatrics at University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine Dr. Christian Pulcini, who worked on the study. "What we found is something unfortunately that a lot of us weren’t surprised by to be honest with you." 


Shooting at Silver Spring block party leaves 16-year-old girl hospitalized

A shooting incident was reported in Silver Spring on Friday night in the 11400 block of Stewart Lane.

According to the research, more than three in five children do not receive mental health services within six months of being shot. That’s despite growing evidence "that early identification and timely connection to mental health services after an injury can improve mental health outcomes."

"There is a documented increase in trauma-related disorders after a firearm injury, and that’s even compared to other traumatic injuries," Pulcini said, later adding, "There needs to be recognition that this is a daily occurrence in the United States."


Violent crime in DC continues to impact youth

The horrific shooting of an innocent 10-year-old and the shock of a student being targeted on school grounds happened during a busy week surrounding public safety in the District.

So, what can be done?

"We do know that a concerted effort across the healthcare system in terms of identifying and screening for mental health issues early would most likely result in the best scenario for these children and families," Pulcini said.

To read the complete study, click here.