Staff Ed: Mental health resources and support essential for crisis survivors during trauma aftermath
By THE BLUE AND GRAY PRESS EDITORIAL BOARD
A year after the fatal shooting at Marjory Stoneman High School that left 17 people killed and another 17 wounded, the community is still dealing with the aftermath of that tragedy. Two survivors of the school shooting died by suicide last week. Sydney Aiello, a graduate of the Parkland high school, died on Mar. 17 at the age 19. Her parents revealed she was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and was struggling with “survivor’s guilt” after losing a close friend in the Feb. 14 shooting last year. Police recently confirmed that 16-year-old Calvin Desir died by suicide Saturday night on Mar. 23, just a week after Aiello took her own life.David Hogg, one of the student activists who became a prominent figure in the wake of the shooting, called upon officials in a tweet on Sunday to do more to prevent such deaths. He said, “How many more kids have to be taken from us as a result of suicide for the government/school district to do anything? Rip 17 + 2.” The high school’s parent-teacher association tweeted a flyer with contact information of officials who could help with counseling for trauma. In response to these deaths, the City of Coral Springs has now planned a Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Town Hall Meeting for Wednesday next week. When looking for ways to address mass shootings, we believe that it’s paramount to also consider how survivors are impacted by such tragedies, and provide support, including removing the stigma around PTSD and suicide awareness. More needs to be done to help survivors deal with aftermath of trauma and find the healing they need.
Suicide prevention hotline: If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time of day or night or chat online.Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they dial 741741.
This Staff Editorial was led by Ronic Ngambwe.