Parkland trainees like me were told to get over our sorrow. We didn’t get the support to do it.

Parkland trainees like me were told to get over our sorrow. We didn’t get the support to do it.

I’ll never forget the day when 17 of my classmates and teachers were assassinated in one of the most dangerous school shootings in our nation’s history. I’ll also never forget the collective anxiety, worry, and grief everyone at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School felt in the months following the tragedy.

I remember struggling with not sleeping or eating. I remember stopping varsity track and field after 6 years, giving up my position of captain. I keep in mind having problem with an appointed essay for one class, as the continuous thought of my lost pals weighed on my capability to focus. When I confided in my instructor that I was not able to write, she told me to put my grief in a box and complete the paper.

This was not an uncommon encounter with Marjory Stoneman Douglas teachers and administrators after the shooting. 2 weeks after the shooting happened, trainees and teachers were anticipated to go back to the campus and the criminal offense scene. The psychological health experts provided were mostly inaccessible and inadequate for the more than 3,000 trainees and staff navigating their trauma and sorrow. In the following months, my graduating class walked across the phase with no information or resources now that we remained in the real world. There was no plan for us.

This week, two more of my schoolmates and fellow survivors have been lost to this tragedy, this time by suicide As the nation mourns, we need to ask what we did and what we ought to be doing to support the mental health of those who made it through Parkland and other mass shootings.

The mass shooting generation

My generation is the generation of mass shootings. A deeper understanding of psychological health lacks precedence in the national discussion.

After the Parkland shooting, mental health resources to survivors and trainees at our school were woefully insufficient. When requested remark, Broward County Schools told Vox that they “concentrated on the wellness of trainees, professors, households and the neighborhood,” which included opening five locations for psychological health assistance, bringing more than 25 mental health clinicians to the school in addition to two additional assistance therapists, and therapy canines. These additions weren’t almost enough for our school population. Therapists were just offered on a day-to-day basis, meaning a student seeking counseling several times would likely be working with a various person each time. Trainees were not able to construct the trusting relationships necessary to assist survivors feel comfy discussing trauma.

Memorials in from of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February,2018
Kyra Parrow

Numerous students felt that their terrible experiences were put on a comparative scale based on where the student was on the day of the shooting. The grief of all other students also shouldn’t be invalidated.
If we struggled with projects, we were told to put our emotions aside, as if grief were a tangible object that could be locked away and forgotten about. For me and numerous of my schoolmates, this belief was accepted.

Suicide prevention and mental health are gun concerns

After we graduated, there was little discussion on how to progress without an assistance structure. It ended up being easier to bottle up feelings than to handle them. This dangerous cycle is what ultimately leads to undiagnosed and without treatment psychological health conditions.

The terror and injury continues. A year later on, I still fear sitting in classrooms, and a lot of my former classmates feel the very same way. On top of that, we fear that the catastrophe we experienced will be mirrored in a various neighborhood someplace else in this country; we are, after all, the generation of mass shootings. We have been fortunate enough to have revived the discussion of weapon violence and raised it to the forefront of the American consciousness for the previous year. The complacency of our Congress justifies our fears a lot more.

Trainees at the March For Our Lives in Parkland, Florida in March, 2018.
Kyra Parrow

Psychological health and gun laws are linked concerns. Nearly two-thirds of all gun deaths in the United States are suicides: an average of 59 deaths a day. Among those deaths was my classmate and survivor Sydney Aiello, who died by gun suicide last week.

We need to avoid the next mass shooting or the next suicide.

If a defense order had actually been in place, the Parkland shooting could have been prevented. Police went to the shooter’s house more than 40 times, and knew of his longstanding history of violent instances, however had no legal method of making him relinquish his firearms.

Extreme danger defense orders likewise work as a tool for suicide intervention: A study by the University of Indiana discovered a 7.5 percent decrease in gun suicide in Indiana in the 10 years following the enactment of the law. It is legislation like extreme risk defense orders that can resolve our nation’s public health epidemic of weapon violence, whether it is preventing suicide or avoiding mass shootings.

Rocks painted by students in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School yard in March, 2018.
Kyra Parrow

We are the generation of mass shootings– but we don’t need to be. Our nation has the opportunity to stop this with key legislation that can not only conserve lives however put the horror and fear at ease for survivors and assist develop a road to healing.

Kyra Parrow is a freshman in college, studying in Orlando, Florida. She has actually co-founded a company led by survivors and youth across the country called No U.S.A., which pursues the objective of absolutely no deaths from preventable weapon violence.


Very First Person is Vox’s home for engaging, provocative narrative essays. Do you have a story to share? Read our submission guidelines, and pitch us at [email protected]


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