Parkland shooting survivor commits suicide

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The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School community in South Florida is mourning another loss.

Sydney Aiello, 19, was a recent MSD graduate who was at the school the day of the mass shooting when 17 people lost their lives.

Aiello took her own life last weekend.

She was a young woman who a Marjory Stoneman Douglas teacher described as a joy to have in class.

Aiello was close friends with Parkland shooting victim Meadow Pollack.

Aiello’s mother said that Sydney felt survivor’s guilt and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after being on campus the day of the shooting last year.

Her mom said Sydney struggled to attend college classes because she was afraid of being in a classroom and was sad but never asked for help before she killed herself.

Sydney’s mom hopes her daughter’s story can help save lives.

“It breaks my heart that we’ve lost yet another student from Stoneman Douglas,” said Ryan Petty, whose daughter, Alaina, died in the Parkland shooting.

Petty has focused a lot of effort on suicide prevention since the Parkland tragedy, worried that traumatized young people might take their own lives.

Petty says people need to ask questions to someone who might be considering suicide like, have you thought of killing yourself and have you had any intention of acting on those thoughts.

“My advice to parents is to ask questions, don’t be afraid. Don’t wait,” Petty said.

Cindy Arenberg Seltzer is president and CEO of the Children’s Services Council of Broward County.

She said there are lots of community resources like the 211 hotline and a new program called Eagles’ Haven opening next month in Coral Springs.

Seltzer said the Parkland tragedy proved that we all need to work to get over the stigma associated with mental health problems and an inability to ask for help when we’re struggling.

She said it’s important for parents to look for suicide warning signs like kids who hurt themselves or stop taking part in important activities.

“Parents have to be a little more aggressive when they see those signs and not just wait for the child to ask for help but maybe to take them to those resources,” Cindy Arenberg Seltzer of the Children’s Services Council of Broward County.

Sydney Aiello loved yoga and her mom said she wanted to dedicate her life towards helping others.

Now you can help her family by donating to a GoFundMe account set up in Sydney’s memory.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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