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We can no longer be afraid to ask these questions. What we may fear most, may actually be avoided by having this conversation.

The first news story I read this morning was heartbreaking. A second Parkland shooting survivor has committed suicide in the span of just one week. Leaders in this Florida community are doing what they can to help students, parents and families.

Bringing in people to talk with students in the aftermath of a tragedy like what happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is not going to provide enough of the kind of care those young people are going to need. A continuous checking in with the kids involved in that shooting is what's needed. Symptoms of PTSD often surface later in life and can be triggered by something very simple. Learning how to recognize their emotions, symptoms of depression and any possible triggers is paramount.

I am a firm believer in students being taught, in school, how to regulate their emotions. A class that taught about mental health issues beyond what is taught in a health class.

Awareness.

Education.

Parkland community leaders are using multiple methods to reach parents to ask them to take this issue seriously. Parents are being offered the 'Columbia Protocol', a set of six questions that parents should be asking their children. How these questions are answered will determine what emergency resource options would be necessary.

  1. Have you wished you were dead or wished you could go to sleep and not wake up?
  2. Have you actually had any thoughts about killing yourself?
  • If YES to 2, answer questions 3, 4, 5 and 6
  • If NO to 2, go directly to question 6

To see the rest of the Columbia Protocol questions and to print your own copy with resource guide, click HERE.

[H/T Miami Herald]