Loved ones of Columbine survivor Austin Eubanks — who last month became the third school-shooting survivor to die this year of suicide or an overdose — are setting up a fund in his memory to help others who’ve suffered similar traumas.
Eubanks had struggled with opioid addiction since he was injured and lost his best friend and other classmates in the 1999 Columbine shooting; he was found dead in his Colorado home in May of an apparent overdose.
In March, two student survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla., took their own lives.
Also in March, Jeremy Richman, who lost his first-grader daughter, Avielle, in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, committed suicide.
Eubanks’ loved ones are joining with The Onsite Foundation — which provides counseling program scholarships for trauma survivors — to create a therapeutic program to benefit struggling victims of mass shootings, his sister Hayley and Onsite director Terry Morris said in a statement Thursday.
“Austin cared deeply about his family and close friends and fought a personal battle every day to bring light, hope and healing to others,” Hayley said.
“Through this much needed therapeutic program, his voice will continue to be heard and healing will begin,” she said.
Information about the program is available at Austineubanks.com.
More than a quarter of mass shooting survivors develop post-traumatic stress disorder, which has been linked to suicide, according to the National Center for PTSD.
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