The Texas Psychological Association (TPA) recently contacted their members regarding the Ft. Hood tragedy. I thought it best to make this information available to our readers given the seriousness of this incident. The TPA announcement also highlights online coping resources from the American Psychological Association. The writers at the Behavioral Medicine Report express their support and condolences to our brave military men and women and their families who were affected by the shootings. Below is a copy of the TPA message in its entirety.
Dear TPA members,
Once again, our state has experienced the tragedy of a mass shooting. Yesterday, nearly 30 individuals – mostly military personnel – were injured and another 13 were fatally wounded at Ft. Hood. The precise nature of the incident is still unknown. Although Ft. Hood is the home of the Warrior Combat Stress Reset Program (a program established to assist military personnel address stress associated with combat), CNN has reported that the alleged gunman, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, had not been deployed outside of the United States.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, friends, and families as well as with the City of Killeen. We are reminded that incidents such as these are far-reaching. Many of our patients are in the military or have loved-ones in the military, and media images are likely to serve as vivid reminders of past traumas. And although we hope this was an isolated incident, the specifics of this situation may contribute to bias and fear. Psychologists are uniquely qualified to assist our communities struggle with these issues.
Our APA DRN [American Psychological Association Disaster Response Network] has posted a couple of resources found through www.apahelpcenter.org, “Managing Your Distress After a Mass Shooting” as well as “Resilience in a Time of War.” I have also been in contact with the Greater Houston Chapter of the American Red Cross (ARC). As of now, the Waco ARC Chapter is managing this response and has not asked for assistance from other chapters. TPA will be monitoring this situation carefully. As this story unfolds, TPA will be actively working with the American Red Cross and other organizations to access and respond as needed to the psychological needs of Killeen as well as other communities around the state.
Rebecca Hamlin, Ph.D.