Had another Jersey hero in studio on Wednesday. She's a High School addiction counselor who's been a guest on my podcast #SpeakingMillennial. Erin Lawler-Patterson, also know as the "Goodness Chick", has been helping young people fight addiction for years. We had a conversation about coping skills and about standing strong and communicating.

I opened the conversation repeating something that I've said several times before...the first victim in the Parkland shooting was the killer himself. Nothing can justify taking 17 lives, but the very fact that law enforcement and social services had been involved over a seven year period shows something was very wrong. The question is, was it fixable? Years of serious issues were never fully addressed. Cutting, threatening conversations, including a social media post about shooting up a school years before the actual massacre. His developmental troubles were diagnosed at 3 years old. In 2014 he was attending school for behavioral and emotional disorders. How many other kids are 14, 15 or younger who need help right now? How many are currently falling through the cracks while special interests use survivors to become shills for gun control?

Erin is one person on the front line. She gets it that kids need help. I'm proud of the work she's doing and the incredible attitude she brings to the effort. Many kids will get back on the right path with her help and she's not done yet. Mental health and coping are not sound bites. They are real issues that young people face and can use a helping hand. The Goodness Chick is there for many of them. Go to her website if you or someone in your family needs help.

Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea. The opinions expressed here are solely those of Bill Spadea.

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