After our nation’s most recent string of mass shootings, experts try to find the root cause of the issue to protect people’s safety. Although some laws are already in place, there is still a lot of work to be done.

Dr. James Mikesell of the CNY Psychological Association says both active shooter drills and the “see something, say something” initiative are integral to gun safety, but more “upstream prevention” needs to be done.

“By upstream, meaning ‘earlier on in development,’ addressing many issues having to do with student wellness, student mental health, school environments free of bullying and harassment, and so forth,” Dr. Mikesell says. The CNY Psychological Association is willing to partner with stakeholders on the issue, to further prevention efforts.

Dr. Mikesell says there are a plethora of misconceptions regarding school shootings.

“The most widely spread misconception is that school shooters are mass killers, or have a mental illness of some kind. Now, millions of people in this country with mental illnesses do not act in this manner, so simply stating, you know, that they have to be crazy, is both inaccurate and ultimately unhelpful in addressing this complex problem,” says Dr. Mikesell.

Efforts to make strides in mental health treatment and awareness have been made. Children in the CNY area are encouraged to speak up on anything they think is suspicious.