DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – For North Texas students and parents struggling with Wednesday’s shooting at Timberview High School in Arlington, mental health nonprofits volunteered to offer advice on how to process and cope during an event at Dallas’ Klyde Warren Park Thursday night, Oct. 7.
“At our school someone was talking about it and I didn’t feel right because I didn’t like that these things happen,” student Bryce Avery said.
“It’s heartbreaking to think about some of the stresses that children deal with at school and as a father it’s doubly stressful for me because I feel the weight of their anxiety,” Bryce’s father, Derek Avery said.
Those feelings are what brought them to the event.
Communities In Schools of the Dallas Region, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, Metrocare and POETIC spoke about student mental health, policies and what students, parents and leaders can do to support students.
“The biggest thing is just to talk to someone that can get you some help,” President and CEO of Communities in Schools – Dallas Region Adam Powell said. “There’s an old saying the greatest trick the devil had was making him think that you’re by yourself and we’re all struggling with this. We’re not making assumptions about what happened yesterday, but I do think it speaks to the need for early detection with our students. People don’t realize this but half of mental illness begins by the age of 14.”
“I would love to see this as a part of general education,” Avery said.
Cell phone video recorded before the shooting shows the shooting suspect, Timothy Simpkins, as a target of violence himself before he’s accused of pulling a gun.
A family representative denies claims he came to school intending to hurt students and says he was a victim of bullying.
Mansfield ISD has made counselors available for students and staff and says safety and security is and always will be top priority.