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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Lynn chapter.

Each morning when you wake up, you get the gift of life. In a blink of an eye, some people lose their advantage. After years of school shootings broadcasted on the news, the anger, shock, and “why” does not disappear; they only worsen as people have to feel sadness repeatedly as more school shootings happen. The “what if that was me” sets in every time.  

Parents fear for their children’s lives, dropping them off at school in the morning and hoping they will see them for pickup. Most of the time, every person is affected in some capacity when they hear about school shootings and gun violence. Can we bring the anger, frustration, and sadness forward and turn that into a passion to make a change?

Too many times, signs of individuals being mentally unstable have been missed. The blatantly apparent signs we see so often, people ignore before it is too late. Society must unite to do everything possible to prevent school shootings. This is mental health awareness, looking for early signs of unstable behavior and new gun laws. 

Individuals who are unwell mentally should never have been able to get a gun in their hands. If their signs of their mental health were noticed by people selling them guns, the statistic of gun related deaths would be lower. Machine guns are more than just protection; they are what every school shooter has used to ruin lives. Guns are the leading cause of death among American children and teens. 1 out of 10 gun deaths is age 19 or younger. The first step in making a change recognizes that people with a mental health history should not be allowed to carry a gun. Then it’s voting for people in power that share these similar beliefs.

Some main signs of mental illness are mood changes. Separation from friends, family, and activities once loved, sleeping issues, not a lot of energy, paranoia, hallucinations. Sometimes there are no signs, so it is essential to do more than check up on people around you; ask them about their days and mental health. Make the conversation a daily routine.  

Hug those around you a little tighter. Learn, jump outside of your comfort zone and help make a change.

Ava Margolis grew up in New Jersey and now resides in South Florida. Margolis attends Lynn University where she studies Multimedia Journalism. Margolis plans to continue her education to become a therapist for children. She is outgoing, compassionate, and an adventurous person who loves sharing her passions with others.