Parkland school shooting survivor takes her own life

Florida

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

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

Aiello’s mother said her daughter took her own life last weekend.

A teacher described Aiello as a joy to have in class.

She was close friends with Parkland shooting victim Meadow Pollack.

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

Aiello struggled to attend college classes because she was afraid of being in a classroom and was sad, but she never asked for help before she killed herself, her mother said..

The young woman’s mother said she hopes the story can help save others.

“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.

He’s focused a lot of effort on suicide prevention since the Parkland tragedy, worried that some traumatized youth might take their own lives.

Petty said 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,” he said. “Don’t be afraid. Don’t wait.”

Cindy Arenberg Seltzer, president and CEO of the Children’s Services Council of Broward County, 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 people 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,” Seltzer said.

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

You can help her family by donating money to a Gofundme account set up in Aiello’s memory.

If you are need help, the national suicide prevention hotline is staffed 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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