Monday, July 18, 2016
Posted by: Amy Dietrich
Below is an email shared by Cynthia Belard from APA. The email was shared with APA Council of Representatives on July 6, 2016.
"Dear Council Members,
The following will be sent via the next issue of ACCESS to all members. The Central Office report just posted was for May.
The horrific shooting in Orlando last month that claimed the lives of at least 49 people and injured 53 others, most of whom were Latino and/or lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, is a tragedy that has deeply touched the psychology community. Recognizing the suffering of the survivors and their families, APA moved quickly to mobilize its resources in response to this crisis in the form of trained volunteer psychologists and supportive materials. Here is what APA has done so far:
Sent two special advisories to news media that included psychologists who have expertise in relevant areas (e.g., LGBT hate crimes, gun violence, mass shootings and terrorism) to ensure journalists have access to the best psychological knowledge to inform the public.
APA sent a joint letter from the presidents of APA and our Division 44, the Society for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Issues, to the mayor of Orlando and the head of the Orlando GLBT Community Center, expressing our condolences and offering help via our Disaster Resource Network and online information. The mayor’s office and the director of the center responded within hours, expressing appreciation. APA also contacted the president and executive director of the Florida Psychological Association to offer condolences and support and to coordinate activities in response to this tragedy.
APA activated the DRN through the Red Cross and Florida Psychological Association. Services offered included disaster mental health intervention, spiritual support and providing food and beverages for first responders. DRN members also distributed online resources on responding to mass shootings for professionals and the public.
APA Government Relations staff assembled relevant APA information and resource materials for the Florida congressional delegation (including how to reach the Florida Psychological Association and DRN) to assist their staff in addressing constituents' concerns.
The Public Interest Directorate’s Psychology Benefits Society blog published several articles related to firearm violence prevention, research on helping LGBTQ people and their allies and how to talk to children about the shooting.
APA Government Relations staff are encouraging Congress to expand federal background checks to all gun sales, remove the barriers to scientific research on violence prevention, expand the collection and analysis of data related to gun violence and other violent deaths, increase funding for violence prevention research and prohibit those on certain federal watch lists from buying guns."