A children’s psychologist told News 6 that recent school-threat scares in Central Florida may have a negative impact on youth’s mental health.
Several parents expressed concern for their children on Friday when Mainland High School went into lock down.
The security scare consisted of both a written threat, and someone yelling the word “gun” inside the cafeteria.
Despite frightening images from outside the school, law enforcement said students were never in danger during the incident, and there is no credible evidence to suggest otherwise.
Dr. Gregory Jantz, a children’s psychologist and author, said that following two years of being isolated from their peers, national rates for anxiety and depression are at a record high.
Jantz added that suicide has become the second leading cause of death for youth ages 12-17.
“We are in a mental health crisis...” Jantz said. “One of the biggest things kids need from us right now is we need to be able to listen to them and let them share whatever it is they are experiencing. Remember the last two-and-a-half to three years.”
Jantz said that regardless of whether a child’s safety was ever actually in danger, the experience for them may be just as frightening.
“We need to remember to look at this from the vantage point of the kids,” Jantz said.
Dr. Jantz also warned for schools to not have too many safety drills because if they are conducted too frequently, it could raise anxiety levels among students.
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