Crisis Intervention: The Problem of School Shooting


Despite multiple attempts at reducing the levels of the school shooting and prevent the exposure of vulnerable groups to the phenomenon in question, it remains a large concern in the modern sociocultural context. Addressing the needs of victims of a school shooting is especially difficult due to their increased vulnerability and psychological exhaustion. Therefore, a carefully planned and coherently structured strategy for psychological assistance and counseling for the specified demographic needs to be designed. By integrating the model known as the Psychological First Aid (PFA), one will reduce the patient’s level of anxiety and provide the grounds for the further healing process, preparing the patient for the emotional labor that will need to be done in order to recover.

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Crisis Issue

The high extent of unpredictability is one of the main obstacles on the way to managing the phenomenon of the school shooting and assisting its victims. The lack of preparedness toward the instance of a school shooting and the shock effect thereof combined with the high probability of physical traumas in addition to psychological damage complicates the process of recovery among the survivors of school shootings.

The issue under analysis is represented by an incident of the school shooting that took place at a local high school. Due to the lack of preparedness, educators have failed to address the problem adequately from the start, which has led to several learners receiving injuries in an attempt to stop the perpetrator. Although the incident was managed within a comparatively small amount of time by the local police, the issue still affects learners, reducing their readiness to attend the school, causing their motivation rates to drop drastically, and having other deleterious effects on their ability to learn.

The phenomenon has also caused the students to develop multiple mental health complications starting with PTSD and ending with anxiety and other types of emotional disorders (Kolski, Jongsma, & Myer, 2016). Therefore, the issue has to be managed on a local level by assisting students in recognizing their needs, the changes that the event has produced in their lives, and the strategies for managing the emotional distress that they have been experiencing.

Intervention Model

The model to be utilized in the case under consideration is the framework known as the Psychological First Aid (PFA). The specified tool was designed by the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in 2006 and is typically viewed as the first response to the needs of people that have witnessed an instance of a disaster or a terrorist act (Jacobs, 2016). Due to the focus on stabilization, the model in question can be deployed during the disaster in question, allowing students to survive the experience remaining comparatively unscathed.

The opportunity to utilize the support of family members and the community as a whole when implementing the model under analysis can be deemed as the crucial advantage of the PFA framework. Indeed, the approach supports both short- and long-term adaptive processes, boosting the pace of a patient’s recovery through the reinforcement of the emotional bond between a victim and their family (Everly & Lating, 2017). While the enhancement of family ties is only one aspect of the multifaceted concept of PFA, it still contributes to the recovery process substantially.

Another model that can be utilized t assist students and teachers in accepting the fact of reduced safety levels is the Crisis Incident Stress Management (CISM) tool. The device in question allows extending the support to victims of the mass shooting by giving them healthcare services of the proper quality and ensuring that they gain the emotional intelligence and skills for internal emotional analysis.

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Model Application


In the case under analysis, the process of deploying the model will require building an environment of safety and comfort for the patient to feel emotionally secure. At the same time, a non-intrusive emotional contact has to be established with the patient so that the latter could feel the compassion of the counselor and be ready to receive the needed help. Afterward, one will need to calm down the victims that show the signs of particularly heavy emotional distress. Identifying the immediate concerns such as tending to the needs of people that have received wounds during the shooting, is the next stage of managing the crisis in question with the help of the PFA framework.

Expanding the social support and allowing individuals to take an active part in the management of their personal issues caused by the shooting, primarily, the emotional trauma, should follow the management of physical concerns. Finally, the model suggests introducing a collaborative effort into assisting survivors (Everly & Lating, 2017). Thus, students will obtain the help needed to adjust to the changed concept of school safety.


Another approach toward reducing risks and managing the crisis during a school shooting is the Crisis Incident Stress Management (CISM) tool. The identified framework focuses closely on the subject of target demographics’ education and the process of building awareness among individuals and within a community. Placing it into the context of a school shooting as a hypothetical disaster to be managed, one will need to split the management of victims’ needs into five distinct categories.

The framework starts with pre-and post-disaster education, which is expected to build awareness and increase the extent of potential victims’ preparedness (Yilmaz & Flouris, 2017). Moreover, post-disaster education may involve the introduction of coping strategies for a patient and their family members, which brings one back to the model described previously and the integration of family and community support into the recovery stage.

In addition, on-scene support should be incorporated into the process of managing a disaster and assisting its victims as an inseparable part of handling the issue of victims’ needs. In the context of a school shooting, the intervention will imply the provision of emotional and psychological assistance to the peopled that have been traumatized by the phenomenon, Simultaneously, physical health issues such as the management of victims’ wounds and the related concerns will have to be addressed.

Addressing the issue on a larger scale by considering how the management of victims’ needs is performed should be seen as the third stage of the model implementation. In turn, defusing minor conflicts within a group of survivors and performing debriefing in a larger group of participants will have to be seen as the fourth and fifth stages of the model implementation (Yilmaz & Flouris, 2017). The latter two steps are critical for reducing the extent to which the event of a school shooting may have traumatized the people that have been victims or witnesses to it.

It is worth bringing up that none of the models designed so far are seen as the ultimate tool for relieving post-traumatic stress in victims of crises occurring within modern society. Thus, it is critical to offer students and educators the tools that they can use to shield themselves from a possible threat, simultaneously increasing the levels of patient education and the extent to which patients and their families participate in the recovery.

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By utilizing a combination of two PTSD management techniques as a means of relieving the victims of a recent school shooting from the associated mental health complications and emotional distress, one will be able to create a safer environment for the vulnerable group in question. The focus on family support and the assistance of the community can be deemed as the most important characteristics of the models under analysis. Moreover, the integration of pre-and post-incident crisis education is expected to assist in handling the process of adjustment and contributing to the reintegration of the vulnerable groups back into society and their communities.

As a result, one will be able to help learners and teachers to reduce the levels of PTSD and the associated anxiety. The incorporation of a well-developed crisis management technique is also expected to assist in promoting independence in trauma management by educating victims and assisting them in building their own approach toward emotional and mental healing.

Finally, the presence of pre-and post-crisis education can be regarded as a critical aspect of the proposed solution toward managing the needs of learners and educators that have witnessed a school shooting. The m models under consideration are expected to assist students and teachers in receiving the needed emotional support from their families and community members, simultaneously developing a mechanism for managing the adverse psychological effects and developing the ability to self-heal, thus, reducing the extent of the psychological and mental trauma.


Everly, G. S., & Lating, J. M. (2017). The Johns Hopkins guide to psychological first aid. Baltimore, MD: JHU Press.

Jacobs, G. A. (2016). Community-based psychological first aid: A practical guide to helping individuals and communities during difficult times. Cambridge, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Kolski, T. D., Jongsma, A. E., & Myer, R. A. (2016). The crisis counseling and traumatic events treatment planner, with DSM-5 updates (2nd ed.). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

Yilmaz, A. K., & Flouris, T. (2017). Corporate risk management for international business.

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