In The Aftermath Of Parkland, Admissions To Mental Health Facilities Rise

By David Konow 02/26/18

At one Miami treatment center, most of the beds have been taken, when often two-thirds of them are usually empty.

Marjory Douglas students standing near a memorial
Photo via YouTube

After this month's tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida that took 17 lives, a lot of worried teens have turned to mental health facilities for help in coping with their fears.

As Patricia Ares-Romero, the chief medical officer of one mental health facility in Florida, told the Tampa Bay Times, “Children do not feel safe. Children are supposed to be happy—maybe a little concerned about whether they’re getting good grades, or if they are going to get grounded... Even when you have a dysfunctional family, when you do not have a good home life, there is one place where children always feel safe: in school. And now, that has been ripped away from them.”

At one Miami treatment center, most of the beds have been taken up, when often two-thirds of them are usually empty. And it’s not just young kids who are trying to cope with anxiety. A lot of parents and caregivers who are concerned about their children’s mental well-being have admitted their kids, hoping to curtail a potential mental break that could lead to another tragedy.

As Marcia Monroe of the Central Florida Behavioral Health Network says, “It’s not only parents and caregivers, but people’s co-workers, brothers, sisters are looking at social media—Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat—they’re looking at what’s being said, looking at photographs and taking to heart ‘if you see something, say something.’”

In fact, Manny Llano, the CEO of Fort Lauderdale Hospital, said he’s “for sure seen an increase” in involuntary commitments since the Parkland incident, and that the beds at his facility are “overflowing.”

On Sunday, February 25, the school held an orientation for students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, trying to take the first steps in getting over the trauma of the shooting. Classes at Stoneman Douglas are scheduled to resume on February 28.

One of the shooting survivors said on the ABC show This Week, “Imagine (being) in a plane crash and then having to get on the same plane every day and fly somewhere else—it’s never going to be the same.”

But as Yahoo reports, one student who lived through the event posted a picture online of students on campus, stating that it was “GOOD TO BE HOME.” Another student added, “I have all my friends here with me and it just makes me feel like I’m not alone in this situation.”

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.