It’s time to help and not ignore

A survivor and current student of the Parkland shooting.

A father of a child lost during the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

All three committed suicide within the past two weeks.

A  recent graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Sydney Aiello, committed suicide two weeks ago by shooting herself in the head. She was buried five days after she took her life. According to NPR, Aiello took her life due to struggling with PTSD and survivor’s guilt.

A current Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student, that has not been named, died of apparent suicide this past week which is still under investigation.

Jeremy Richmond, father of Sandy Hook victim Avielle Richman, committed suicide last week and is no longer able to continue his advocacy for saving the lives of other students in the United States. He can’t lead the Avielle Foundation, which focuses on researching brain abnormalities that could be linked to violent behavior.

Because of events like this it’s important not to belittle the reality of shootings by thinking your odds are more likely to be hit by a car than be involved in a school shooting.

It’s not about just being safe in the state of Vermont. It’s about addressing the issue of gun laws and helping people after the shootings.

It’s about advocating for OTHER states that AREN’T as safe as the second safest state within our nation.

What’s funny is how even in the second safest state, Castleton had a non-student terrorizing campus during the weekend of the Super Bowl and the week after, a kid from Fair Haven had plans to shoot up the high school and a student sent eight different threats to South Burlington High School in 2018, which lead to three lockdowns and a day of cancelled classes.

Even the second safest state has its flaws.

So where does our nation start with making sure that people are properly treated after these devastating events? Is it time to initiate a nationwide program to help survivors and parents after these types of event?

But here’s the thing, we shouldn’t have to have programs because school shootings shouldn’t be happening in the first place.

VICE published an article by Kelly Terifay who was in a fourth grade classroom during the Sandy Hook shooting. She reflected in a bulleted list how even though when you’re back at school and you’re able to heal with your classmates, the teachers and counselors are going through the same thing. They are just as scared as you are.

Most therapy sessions, with or without insurance, cost from $50 to $250 for an hour session. The problems don’t go away in one session. It can take years to recover but to be honest, the events follow you for the rest of your life.

So if programs were initiated to help the survivors and parents, what would they entail?

For starters, they need to create affordable counseling for survivors and parents. They shouldn’t have to go through the pain of losing a friend or child alone. Another thing that would be helpful would be bring in outside counselors who weren’t in the shooting and who are focused in helping people who have PTSD and survivor’s guilt.

So as a nation, let’s continue to keep mental health issues a top priority. Let’s keep in mind that it’s not a matter of fending for your state when it’s a national issue. Let’s get all states to be safe in and outside of school.

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