Counselors urge open dialogue following Parkland shooting


DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) — “It’s wearing on the children. It’s wearing on the parents. Everyone is scared.”

That’s a sentiment that’s all too common these days.

Dr. Diane Pleasant is a family counselor in Decatur. She got into this profession to help troubled kids and adults find their way back onto the right path.

But she’s worried this tragedy could inspire others and said parents need to have more conversations with their children about gun violence and mental health.

“This is a great discussion to bring up because we could be looking at and faced with as a society [more school shooters],” Pleasant said.

But she said it’s even more important to stay engaged with these issues and prevent apathy from setting in.

“Immediately following situations like this, all of us want to be called to immediate action,” she said. “Give us two more weeks and we are numb and we’re onto another crisis situation.”

 Beyond conversations and increased vigilance, Pleasant said the biggest key to stopping these shootings is collaboration.

“This is a huge collaborative problem,” Pleasant said. “It’s going to take everyone’s thoughts and input in order for us to affect positive change. Everyone needs to feel safe when they’re in that school environment.”

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