Anxiety: Student Anxiety in the Era of Mass Shootings

Anxiety: Student Anxiety in the Era of Mass Shootings

By Lynette Rivas

Within this current year, there have been a total of 27 school shootings where several individuals were either injured or killed. This rising number of school shootings is leaving a drastic impact on the mental health of students throughout the country. Research has shown that this stressor has contributed to an increase in depression and anxiety in students of all ages, whether or not the student was directly involved in the mass shooting. Students who were not involved in the school shooting can still be impacted by media coverage or by close proximity to the event.

According to a study from the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, at least 30% of students feel unsafe at school. This fear can cause anxiety in students, especially young children who are more prone to experiencing PTSD from these events. Student anxiety and depression are problematic and can affect a child’s learning. Research has shown that when a child is worried about different stressors, such as a possible school shooting, they end up using more of their mental resources towards emotions instead of learning, memory, and attention.

Signs of anxiety in students include:

  • Appearing shy, nervous, or cautious
  • Seeking constant approval
  • Expressing fears by throwing tantrums or crying
  • Sweating, headaches, stomach aches, and/or difficulty breathing

Any student who is experiencing these symptoms of anxiety should turn to a psychologist for help in order to overcome the fear of a possible school shooting. Periods of prolonged anxiety can hinder a student from excelling academically, socially, and/or emotionally.

If you or someone you know is seeking therapy for anxiety, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit


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