Suicides Related to Parkland & Sandyhook School Shootings: Long-Term Mental Health Care Is Needed After Tragedies! by Dawn Taylor
Three suicides have been in the news that were from the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting just over a year ago, and one related to the Sandyhook school shooting from 2012. These tragedies illustrate the need for long-term care for the survivors and families left behind.
Two students who survived the Parkland massacre were said to be struggling with survivors guilt and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from that tragic day. A father who lost his daughter in the Sandyhook massacre took his life even though he had become a tireless advocate for research into brain health and abnormal behavior in trying to prevent future violent acts.
It is heartbreaking to imagine what so many survivors and families go through following such tragic loss. In the case of survivors, they cannot be expected to manage the accompanying feelings of fear, guilt and trauma on their own. Fathers, mothers, brothers and even extended families left behind, also will feel unending grief despite appearing OK on the outside.
Mental health care must be available, affordable and for as long as is needed for all those affected by any tragic loss. No one should ever be left alone to battle what surely must be living terror. No one should be made to feel that they have grieved long enough. We cannot begin to understand or judge anyone affected by such horrific loss.
Programs and support systems should be in place and available at all times. Mental health programs and education need to be ubiquitous, and not just immediately following tragic events, but available to all who need them for as long as they need them.
So many lives depend on it.
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