Development of a Virtual Training Program to Reduce Gun Violence Amidst the Covid-19 Era

Ping-Hsin Chen, Yu Tina Kong, Jasmine Emanuel, Megan Pan


Firearm deaths and related health issues have increased and disproportionately affected minorities in the COVID-19 era. We developed an accessible virtual training program, including topics on gun violence epidemiology, depression, substance use, intimate partner violence (IPV), intervention resources, safety planning, and COVID-19-related issues. The training program was distributed to participants from the Northeast region, particularly New Jersey, through text, email, and social media. Among the 202 survey responses from the participants, the mean age was 22.6, 50% were male, and 84.4% were minorities. Only 49.5% of participants were familiar with the related topics before the program, with participants having the least knowledge in gun violence epidemiology (9.5%). The mean test score for knowledge on all related topics after the training was 98.0 out of 100. Most participants were satisfied with the training program (92.1%), felt comfortable seeking help (86.1%), and would promote the program (83.7%). The participants were least comfortable seeking help for depression, particularly among non-African and non-Hispanic minority groups. We concluded that brief online interventions can improve community health outreach, knowledge, awareness, and likelihood of help-seeking and treatment. Tailored training programs are needed to target various populations for prevention and intervention.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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