The incident took the lives of nine people at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., as well as that of the 26-year-old gunman. Another seven people were wounded in the attack.
Dan Bristow, M.D., a psychiatrist with Kaiser Permanente in Portland, Ore., and the public information chair of the OPPA, emphasized the need to engage the news media to help educate the public about the psychological consequences to the community.
It is too soon to understand the motivations of the gunman, said Bristow. “This is a time to support, and be supported by, the ones we love—friends, family, neighbors, and fellow Oregonians.”
The OPPA posted messages on its website urging just that and suggesting ways that adults could discuss such traumatic events with children.
Bristow said he plans to travel to Roseburg, 180 miles south of Portland, later today to provide perspective on the event to local media and coordinate a longer-term response with area psychiatrists in that underserved area of the state.
The goal, he said, was to be attuned to the needs of the community and offer OPPA’s assistance as needed.
Look for a full report on the tragedy and OPPA's response in a future issue of Psychiatric News.