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Second Parkland Shooting Survivor Dies by Suicide


Editor's Note

If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

A second survivor of the 2018 Parkland school shooting died by suicide on Saturday night, according to reports from the Miami Herald. Police cannot release the age or identity of the student as he was a juvenile, but confirmed he was a male sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

His death follows the death of Parkland shooting survivor Sydney Aiello, who died by suicide last Sunday. Aiello’s mother said she was struggling with survivor’s guilt and had been recently diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – though she didn’t reach out for help before ending her life.

In the wake of this news, people are talking about the impact of trauma on young people and the need for gun control reform.

For those who have been affected by a school shooting, Mighty contributor Lisa Hamp, a survivor of the Virginia Tech shooting, shared the following reminder:

To those impacted by the shooting, you may feel a rush of overwhelming feelings as you reflect on the past year and look ahead to next. Tragic flashbacks may run through your head, and it might seem impossible to get away from your emotions. Outside pressure for what you will do or how you will mark the day may be overwhelming. Pause. Breathe, and breathe again. These feelings are normal. If you wait a little longer and focus on your breathing, the uncomfortable emotions will eventually pass.

As you continue your recovery journeys, I send my thoughts, prayers and a few words of advice from a fellow survivor: Don’t compare your experiences. Make self-care a priority. Be kind to yourself. Be patient with yourself. And remember, breathe.

Witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event can increase the likelihood of dying by suicide, especially for children. It’s important to reach out for help following a trauma. Mental health conditions caused or exacerbated by trauma including anxiety, depression and PTSD can be treated with the help of a licensed professional.

If this news is hard for you, know you are not alone — and there is help for people who feel suicidal. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

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