During the fall semester, several local schools were put on lockdown following threats of weapons, shootings on campus, and even threats that students brought guns to school.
While there is a criminal dimension to these situations, it has also taken a toll on the mental health of students, with multiple school shootings across the country.
County Attorney Suggests Mental Health Resources, Security
Over the past few months, some students have been charged with bringing guns into schools around Arizona.
Among them was a 9-year-old student from Pinal County who brought a loaded gun to school in November.
Of what can help in situations where threats come to school campuses, Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell says education about the signs to look for is important.
Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said, “When I was prosecuting, if someone really derailed in their actions, you would look back on it and there were so many warning signs.
Security can also be upgraded, Mitchell said, and more mental health resources are also needed.
“Maybe they’re letting us know they’ll do better education about what to look for so they can intervene early before this kind of thing happens. They’ll find a way,” Mitchell said. said.
As for the case of the student who brought a gun to school, licensed quasi-marriage and family therapist Victoria Securist says there could be something deeper going on in the student’s life.
“They could have had a more serious mental health condition, but I was like, ‘What was this meant to be? What’s actually going on??’
Threats Affect Students’ Mental Health
In early December, Cactus Shadows High School was shut down after a student believed he saw another student with a revolver in the parking lot.
Scottsdale Police later said the student was indeed carrying the laptop.
“I think that example shows that children don’t feel safe, right?” Secrist said.
Secrist said access to social media and live videos of school shootings across the country also impacted children’s sense of security.
“It’s a real experience that they’re going through, and I think a lot of different kids are going through it right now,” Securist said.
When this situation occurs, Secrist encourages parents to talk to their child without distractions and to remain open about how the child is feeling, even though it may differ from the child’s perspective. increase.
“I’m not ignoring what’s going on at the social level, within schools, and at home, so there’s more hope for that. Will it affect you?” Securist said.
If you or a loved one is contemplating suicide, there is help and hope.inquiry National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.
- Teen Lifeline: 602-248-8336. Line texting is available from noon to 9pm on weekdays and 3pm to 9pm on weekends. The hotline also receives calls every day.
- Crisis text line: text HOME to 741741
- Community Referrals: 211Arizona.org
- Statewide Resources: https://www.azspc.org/resources.html
- Crisis Team: 480-784-1500
- Maricopa County Crisis Hotline: 602-222-9444
- Free Zoom community meetings on youth mental health can also be found at https://preparedparentingaz.org/.