Was all set to post a new #SameHere🤙Hero story when this devastating news was shared – & I felt compelled to address it. A young woman, a survivor of the shootings in Parkland, now lost to suicide almost a year later.
I remember when the Parkland shooting happened & the two big news stories were: 1) how students were taking action & protesting, & 2) how the school was hiring more therapists & grief counselors.
My initial reaction was fear. I feared that the students who heroically were out there trying to make positive change, were putting all their energies towards that, specifically, (understandably trying to make sense of it all & find purpose), but neglecting their own MH in the process. I feared that the hiring of more counselors wasn’t enough – bc you have to still convince young adults who still feel indestructible, that they should go & SEE the counselors, & do things beyond just talking it out.
It’s not fair of me or anyone else to play Monday Morning QB about Parkland specifically. But let me say this about trauma: it’s literally a silent killer.
I didn’t know this when I WATCHED all of my brother’s ailments & my friends’ deaths. I didn’t understand how something that I witnessed happen to someone else, was also actually “happening” to me, & would lead to me falling apart, myself.
We MUST have education programs in ALL schools, all areas of society about: 1) the cumulative effect of stress & trauma from life’s difficult events, 2) how we “Release & Rewire” that stress & trauma from our systems. We can’t just hire more counselors (hoping kids will seek help), or try to concentrate our efforts on more productive things & magically erase what went on.
The physical health build up of not focusing on these areas is like eating things high in cholesterol, neglecting our arteries, & then falling to a heart attack. The stress/trauma BUILDS, & it leads to outcomes like the tragic one today. This is awful & things must change!