Almost a year after participating in the March for Science, APA members and employees—including APA Books staff—will once again take to the streets of our nation’s capital, this time to join the March for Our Lives. Here is APA’s announcement of support for the march:
The tragic events of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting in Parkland, Florida have brought renewed public attention to the gun violence epidemic in America. On Saturday, March 24, 2018 we urge our members to come together in Washington, D.C. and around the globe to support the March for Our Lives. Psychologists have a unique and much needed perspective to add to the gun violence discussion.
As a scientific organization, APA routinely advocates for a public health approach to gun violence prevention and supports evidence-based programs and policies that can reduce the occurrence and impact of firearm-related violence in the United States.
In viewing gun violence as a public health crisis, APA also seeks to dispel the myth that mass shootings are caused by mental illness. As APA President Jessica Henderson Daniel, PhD stated in response to the Parkland shooting, “Framing the conversation about gun violence in the context of mental illness does a disservice to the victims of violence and unfairly stigmatizes the many others with mental illness.” APA advocates for increased access to mental health services for everyone, as one of several methods for preventing gun violence. The idea that only those who suffer from mental illness can benefit from such services is a longstanding myth about psychotherapy.
And that is why APA is participating in the March for Our Lives this Saturday: to advocate for the role of psychology in preventing gun violence throughout the country. We hope you can join us.