A Montgomery County psychologist, who was a student at the Florida high school where 17 were shot and killed, disagrees with the president's sentiments.
She said research shows people with mental illness are not more likely to become a school shooter.
"Stoneman Douglas is a school that’s known for its academic and athletic excellence," said Christine Sylvest. "It's making me tear up because it’s so awful this shooting happened at my former school. The alumni in the DC area have already mobilized. We are trying to create a fundraiser to help the victims and families of those who died."
The former Parkland, Fla. high school alum is also using her skills as a child psychologist to try to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening at other schools.
"I think some of the reactive things that we have done can be helpful, like how we have intruder drills at some schools and talk to kids about what to do and practice them," she said. "Politicians talk about how we just need more security at our schools or armed police officers at our schools and that’s part of it I think, but another part is talking about access to guns in our country. More proactive things we can do is identifying the risk factors - what are the shared characteristics of people who commit mass shootings.Typically it’s things that are not part of a diagnosable mental illness. Things like a history of child abuse, a history of angry behavior and sometimes binge drinking."
Sylvest said children will feel anxious right now and that’s completely normal.
“Ask your children what they know about the situation and how they feel about it, give them space so they can talk about their feelings and respond with reassurance, explain the steps their school takes to help them be safe," she said.
Dozens of local Stoneman Douglas alumni are now part of a closed Facebook group where they're sharing information and their feelings after the senseless shooting at that high school.
"It’s sickening to hear about this happening at any school, but then to imagine I went to that school was really hard," said Sylvest.