Lanier HS provides counseling for students following suicide - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Lanier HS provides counseling for students following suicide

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More than two dozen counselors are at Lanier High School offering support to students a day after one of their classmates died by suicide.

Wednesday morning students held a memorial service and a moment of silence in the courtyard. A small bouquet of flowers was placed by a tree outside the school.

"It's difficult for anyone to digest but our students are strong," said Melissa Chan, a school improvement facilitator at Lanier. She says teachers were notified that during the first 15 minutes of each class period staff would be available to take students to counselors.

"Anytime something like this happens it's tragic," said Merily Keller. She's a suicide prevention consultant and works with Mental Health America of Texas and with Texas Suicide Prevention. Keller leads training sessions for youth suicide prevention.

"It's important to take any talk of suicide seriously," Keller said.

Following a suicide people can feel a sense of guilt. Keller says no one thing causes suicide, instead it's multi-factorial.

Keller encourages parents to talk to their children about what happened. "Listen in person and online and see what they are posting. There can be a downward spiral of grief and trauma unless adults are involved," Keller said.

There are some warning signs to look out for. "Some include depression, isolation, sleeping too much or not enough," said Keller.

Resources are available over the phone and online 24 hours a day. Keller says there is hope.

"Help is available and help works."

Friends say the teen posted on Facebook shortly before he died writing about wanting to take his life. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline recently partnered with Facebook on how to report suicidal users.

LINKS:

Help someone online

Texas Suicide Prevention

NUMBERS:

512-472-HELP (4357)

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

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