Viral social media posts make misdleading claims linking SSRIs to mass shootings and suicide

This week two viral social media posts claimed that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a widely used type of antidepressant, lead to violent behavior. One post included a video of Robert Francis Kennedy Jr. attributing mass shootings to SSRI prescriptions and video games. Another suggested that taking SSRIs contributed to a young transgender person’s suicide and falsely claimed that LGBTQ+ adults “prey on vulnerable kids.”


These misleading claims provide opportunities for health departments and other organizations to inform target populations about SSRIs and other tools that help people manage mental health symptoms. Especially in preparation for the upcoming Mental Health Awareness Month in May, ensuring that FAQ sheets and one-pagers include information about SSRIs, other prescription medications, and additional mental health resources—such as sliding scale therapy, suicide prevention hotlines, local mental health centers, and support groups—is recommended. 

Trending conversations about mental health also provide an opportunity to push out existing content and messaging that outlines suicide warning signs.