Every year there are reports of private school students taking their own lives. Suicide casts a terrible pall over any school community. It just seems so pointless, so senseless. Yet, had members of the community acted on the signals the young person was most likely sending, that suicide could have been prevented.
The academic work in private school can be very heavy. The pressures to succeed, to get into the best college, to not let parents and others down combined with the reality of adolescent uncertainities can create a climate for depression. Depression can lead to suicide. But suicide is preventable.
Suicide is preventable.
Suicide is the 3rd largest killer of young adults between the ages of 15-24. But teen suicide is preventable. You just have to know the warning signs.
As a parent you need to spend quality time with your child. Listen to him. Don't talk at him. Share your experiences and feelings. Be available. Keep firearms and other weapons locked up.
As a student you need to be aware of what is going on with your peers. If you notice somebody acting strangely or talking about 'ending it', take it seriously. Get help.
As an administrator you need to promote awareness of suicide. You need to proactively hold training for suicide prevention. Create 24/7 access to an anonymous suicide hotline. Offer help and counseling. Above all do not stigmatize students or staff for reporting information.
As a teacher you need to be accessible. Be attuned to the warning signs. Act on them.
Suicide is preventable. But the school community needs to help prevent it.
What If They Won't Have Your Child Back? It's spring. You receive a letter from the school advising you that it will not be renewing its contract with you for next year. How can this happen? We offer some answers.