Cultural Competence Classes
What You’ll Learn
- Statistics on firearm suicides
- Myths and stigmas surrounding gun ownership
- Firearms culture in America
- Function, handling, use, and safe storage of firearms
- Live-fire experience on the range
- Plus, earn 3 CEU credits toward your profession
Our long-term goal of these classes is to create a multi-stage certificate program wherein clinicians can advertise themselves as Gun Culture Certified. Roughly 42% of Americans on average either own a firearm or live with someone who does,1 meaning that almost half of the clientele who will ever enter counseling have a gun at home. With firearm suicides on the rise,2 mental health practitioners should become fluent at having conversations with gun owners during their mental health struggles and those involving children of parents who own guns.
Walk the Talk America chiefly desires to prevent suicides by firearm. However, we also aim to increase understanding and appreciation, not just among gun owners about mental health care, but also among counselors about what gun ownership really means. By bringing the two cultures together through formalized education, training, and outreach, we plan to bring more healing to all who need it, free from judgment or fear.
1. Ruth Igielnik and Anna Brown, Key takeaways on Americans’ views of guns and gun ownership (Pew Research Center, 2017), https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/06/22/key-takeaways-on-americans-views-of-guns-and-gun-ownership.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Increase in Suicide Mortality in the United States, 1999–2018,” https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db362.htm.
At the Intersection of Guns and Mental Health — The Introductory Course
This course is the first of three parts. If taken in succession, completion will result in achievement of full WTTA certification in firearms and mental health culture. The introduction course is designed to cover the principles of firearms, firearms culture, and suicide prevention and intervention as they relate to firearms.
At the end of this course, attendees will:
- Increase understanding of suicide by firearm and its disproportionate presence in American culture, particularly as it relates to overall firearm deaths
- Improve their understanding of the stigma related to mental health care among gun owners including veterans and first responders
- Learn how to validate emotional experiences of gun owners
- Increase their empathy and understanding related to gun culture
- Improve their understanding of firearms broadly, including types, classes, and uses;
- Gain new information on expected standards and need for clinical contributions to the field
- Understand “red flag laws” and transfer laws, along with clinician responsibility and ethical scope in Nevada
Stay tuned for our next class!
What makes our class unique?
Clinicians get a better understanding of the fears that gun owners have which helps them shape their approach and language when discussing firearms ownership. Many of the students in the class were unaware that firearm owners have fear in confiding to a therapist about their gun ownership. The common narrative was that clinicians could have your firearms confiscated if you confided that you might be struggling with your mental health. In most states, this is simply not true. Many people avoid seeking help because of this belief, which in some cases, could lead to a mental health crisis that could be deadly. When gun owners feel comfortable that their therapist is Second Amendment/Gun Culture friendly, they may be more apt to get help.