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After Two Parkland Students Commit Suicide, Community Unites To Share Mental Health Resources

credit: Samuel Corum / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

One year after the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., two students have died in apparent suicides, compelling the community to come together and share mental health resources.

On Saturday, a sophomore at the school, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting last year, took his own life. One week prior, Sydney Aiello, 19, a recent Stoneman Douglas graduate who lost her best friend in the massacre, also ended her life.

As the Florida’s emergency chief Jared Moskowitz calls for the state Legislature to send more mental health resources for the high school’s students and faculty, calling mental health a “bipartisan issue” on Twitter, the community has stepped in where the state government has been slow to respond.

On Sunday, more than 60 school, county, city, child services and law enforcement officials, as well as mental health specialists, teachers and parents, met for an emergency meeting. Ryan Petty, father of Alaina Petty, a 14-year-old freshman who was murdered on Feb. 14. 2018, said that the school district will be giving parents the “Columbia Protocol, six questions that parents should ask their children, the Miami Herald reports. Based on their answers, they will know what emergency resources are available to them. Additionally, nonprofits are offering free therapy groups and services.

Online, it’s students, former and current, who are using social media to offer resources to those still suffering from the trauma and loss of last year’s school shooting. David Hogg, who graduated from Stoneman Douglas in 2018 and has become a fierce anti-gun advocate, took to Twitter, reminding Parkland students and grads that trauma doesn’t go away quickly.

“Stop saying you’ll get over it,'” he wrote. “You don’t get over something that never should have happened because those that die from gun violence are stolen from us not naturally lost. Trauma and loss don’t just go away, you have to learn to live with it through getting support.”

According to Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, who spoke with Teen Vogue, witnessing traumatic events can lead to symptoms consistent with acute stress disorder, including recurring memories, dreams or nightmares of the event; mood changes; irritability and more. These memories, she adds, can lead to negative thoughts, hopelessness, trouble sleeping and more.

Hogg wants youth to know that these symptoms are normal and that they can be managed through help, like therapy, talking with friends and family, meditation and self-care practices.

He, along with others, shared his own self-care routine.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, know there is help available. For immediate support, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis and are unsure where to turn, you can also reach out to the Crisis Text Line by sending HOME to 741741.

Undocumented Victims Of El Paso Shooting Were Too Afraid To Get Help Thinking They Could Face Deportation, This Is Happening In America

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Undocumented Victims Of El Paso Shooting Were Too Afraid To Get Help Thinking They Could Face Deportation, This Is Happening In America

@bubbaprog / Twitter

First, the Latino community was gunned down in a terror attack at an El Paso Walmart. The terrorist was an alleged White Nationalist who decried the “Hispanic invasion” of Texas, echoing the exact words used by our president and, to be fair, many other Republican politicians.

But now, it’s also been reported that undocumented victims of the attack refused to seek medical care for fear that they may be deported. Not only was our community attacked but the country’s anti-Latino rhetoric is putting lives at an even greater risk.

CNN first reported that some victims of the attack were too afraid to go to hospitals and medical centers thinking they could be deported.

On CNN, for example, the former assistant secretary of Homeland Security Juliette Kayyem noted that according to authorities, it was “clear that there are people who are not reunifying with their family, and there are people they’re worried did not go to hospitals because of their immigration status.”

MSNBC also tweeted that “Hope Border Institute is asking to spread word to reach out to them if you, or someone you know, are a migrant and afraid to come forward in relation to the El Paso mass shooting attack, such as being injured or trying to find family members.”

The Hope Border Institute tweeted support for the community and assured them not to be afraid to seek medical care.

The organization stepped up to help undocumented community when our own government wasn’t saying a word. In their tweet, the organization said: “If you are afraid to contact the authorities regarding the shooting because of your immigration status, please contact Hope Border Institute, and we will help you.”

Many couldn’t believe that something like that even had to be shared.

When people have been harassed and targets of hateful rhetoric and then victims of a terror attack, the last thing they should be worrying about is their legal status. There’s no confirmation if any of the victims who were too afraid to seek medical care have died but just the idea that it was possible, was enough to piss off a lot of people on social media.

Perhaps realizing that people could be dying out of fear of deportation, Border Patrol released a statement.

The West Texas wing of U.S. Customs and Border Protection tweeted:  “We are not conducting enforcement operations at area hospitals, the family reunification center or shelters. We stand in support of our community.”

Still, the episode offers a glimpse into what it’s like to live with the persistent burden of being undocumented in America: Not only does it inject a steady hum of anxiety into daily life thanks to discrimination and fear of deportation, but it also severely limits people’s access to resources in times of crisis.

The tweet from CBP made a lot of people on social media very angry and many called our the agency.

I mean, a federal law enforcement agency shouldn’t have to reassure people who were just victims of a terror attack that they won’t face arrest and detention for going to the hospital.

Trump Condemns Racism And Hate At Today’s Press Conference But Offers Little In Specifics

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Trump Condemns Racism And Hate At Today’s Press Conference But Offers Little In Specifics

Realdonaldtrump / Instagram

Nearly two full days (and a second mass shooting) after the Walmart massacre in El Paso, Trump held a press conference to finally address the two recent tragedies that have shaken the US.

For Trump, it was an opportunity to condemn White Nationalism and to offer up solutions on how he as president will better protect the country from this rising threat. Trump did both of those, kind of, but he also took the opportunity to lay the blame for the spread of racism and hate on everything and everyone other than himself.

After what seemed like an eternity to many people this weekend, Trump finally held a press conference to discuss the tragedies from this weekend.

Two days after the first bullets were fired in El Paso, TX, the president finally held a press conference to speak about the double terror attacks that have shaken the country. In his press conference, Trump surprisingly condemned White Nationalism in very strong words and told the country that “hate has no place in America.”

Ahead of his speech, Trump proposed on Twitter that Congress work to pass legislation on background checks for guns, suggesting that such reforms could be tied to immigration.

For Trump, the ideal way of getting gun control laws passed was to tie to the very same views the shooter in El Paso espoused – stricter immigration laws.

Trump on Monday said that he supported a move to strengthen background checks in the wake of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, and he suggested tying such legislation to immigration reform. 

During his press conference, Trump also referenced the wrong Ohio city when making his remarks about Dayton.

Of course #ToledoMassacre started trending on Twitter freaking many people out that there had in fact been another shooting. Thankfully, TOledo was safe, the president had just made a big mistake.

This man lost two of his cousins in the Dayton shooting and he is demanding action from Donald Trump.

Many of the victim’s families and friends have made direct, personal pleas with the president begging him to step up as a leader and demand effective gun control measures.

Some were already anticipating Trump’s press conference and had a few expectations -– including Rep. Joaquin Castro (TX).

Although a few reporters asked the president these exact questions, Trump dodged them with vague answers. Although Trump did suggest getting behind existing Republican-approved gun control measures, he didn’t outline any specifics and refused to make any serious commitments.

Many on social media were disgusted by how long it took Trump to offer more than hurried and inauthentic tweets to the victims.

Over the weekend, as the massacres took place, Trump was in New Jersey at his golf resort. Despite sending two tweets, the president continued his rounds of golf and even dropped in on a wedding.

Others couldn’t help but compare the likely reaction of former President Obama against Trump’s delayed response.

Many found themselves reminiscing about the leadership we saw under Obama. Within hours of the Sandy Hook massacre, the President had delivered an address to a shaken nation and developed a comprehensive gun reform package. Obviously that package never made it into law and Obama has cited that as one of the greatest regrets of his presidency.

For many, Trump blaming everything and everyone else for the rise of White Nationalism was infuriating.

Although Trump did finally condemn white nationalism and, used very strong terms to do so, He also made up excuses for basically every domestic terrorist possible.

At this conference this morning, Trump said “The shooter in El Paso posted a manifesto online consumed by racist hate. In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart, and devours the soul.”

But he also laid the blame on mental illness and video games – both of which have been debunked my several studies and mental health organizations. He also continued placing blame on the “fake news media” and even on social media.

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