‘One step at a time’: FGCU counselor volunteers after Parkland shooting

Abbe Finn, a mental health counselor at Florida Gulf Coast University, headed for the East Coast to help after a school shooting left 17 people dead.

Finn is volunteering with the Red Cross among other resources including emotional support dogs and trauma counselors.

Part of her job description entails helping students return to a new normal and said she “want(s) them to start the clock again.”

“Sometimes after a situation like this, one step at a time is the best that you can hope for,” Finn said.

Finn spoke of trauma students may face after something happens “in a place where they’re normally safe and having a good time in school.”

Finn said she studied school shootings since the 1990s and referenced each gunman, like Nikolas Cruz, had a plan.

“I never met him, but he certainly showed a lot of the signs,” Finn said.

Finn stressed the importance of looking for signs of someone capable of carrying out an atrocity like this.

“What you look for is somebody who’s socially isolated, somebody’s who’s having thoughts about harming others and actually somebody who has the means,” Finn said.

Finn said she’s unsure why Cruz lashed out, but emphasized the opportunity for change after a situation like this.

“We hope that we learn from this, that everything has to be taken very seriously,” she said.