Columbine survivors offer support after two teen suicides in Parkland

DENVER -- The tragedy even more heartbreaking after two survivors of the Parkland Florida school shooting took their lives within days of each other, the latest happening Saturday night.

“Things like this happen, people rush to the community and they’re there but then as time goes by they slowly go away, but they need help. They don’t have resources,” said Missy Mendo with the Rebels Project.

Mendo was a Freshman at Columbine when the shooting happened nearly 20 years ago.

“Every event is just heartbreaking,” Mendo said. “It’s heartbreaking, it’s saddening and we can sympathize with them.”

She and other survivors created the Rebels Project to help support people experiencing that kind of trauma after the Aurora Theater shooting. Other survivors say it has taken years to work through what’s known as survivor’s guilt.

“That’s a lot of what I’ve had to work on in therapy, is going back through that and really coming to terms with what happened and the way that everything transpired,” said Columbine survivor Austin Eubanks. “So survivor’s guilt and trauma, those things can become incredibly toxic if they’re not addressed in a healthy fashion.”

Mendo says people with the Rebels Project plan to go to Parkland in the coming weeks to see how they can help the community. Survivors can reach out to the project for support.

Mental Health Colorado offers free mental health screenings at mentalhealthcolorado.org/screenings and the Colorado Crisis Services hotline is 1-844-493-8255 or text “TALK” to 38255.

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