TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - A father whose daughter was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary massacre died by apparent suicide Monday morning, marking the third loss related to school shootings this month.
Jeremy Richman took his own life at his office after working to prevent violence in the years following his daughter’s death in Newtown.
Two student survivors of the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting in Parkland took their own lives last week, and it’s underscoring the suffering they feel as survivors.
"We need it to stop. Seventeen was too many. Nineteen is too many,” said Ryan Petty, the father of a Parkland shooting victim. “What we learned unfortunately this week is that kids that may appear to be ok and not have any issues are actually suffering in silence."
That message could go for any survivor of a traumatic experience.
“Nobody could have guessed what would happen that day when you send your child to school, but psychologically because we have no control over it, we try to find a way to have control,” said Stacy Orloff, the vice president of innovation and community health at Empath Health in Clearwater.
Orloff said that feeling of guilt can become overwhelming.
“The only way for some people that they may feel that they have control is to end having those feelings, and certainly we know that there's a lot of other ways that they can provide help to people,” said Orloff.
In Parkland, parents of the victims are working to open that conversation.
"It's on all of us as a community, as parents, as teachers, as counselors, to ask those questions and to get them the help they need,” said Petty.
If someone you know is at risk, mental health professionals said the one thing you can do is listen.
“Let somebody know that you care, that you don't judge them, that you are willing and able to hear whatever they want to say, whatever they need to say,” said Orloff.
If you need help or know of someone in need of help, call the 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
For those in the Tampa Bay area who want help in an individual or group setting, you can call Empath Health at (727) 467-7423.