Texoma Teen Suicide Prevention - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Texoma Teen Suicide Prevention

It was last September 15th, during National Suicide Prevention Month, that the Rider community lost a Raider. 

The case wasn't like many others: no one close to the student saw any warning signs. 

"Last year, when we had a student kill himself, we were all devastated," L.P.C. at Rider High School Wendy Risner said.

"His girlfriend was helping him with math homework. He said, 'don't you just want this to be over,' she thought he was talking about his homework and didn't even think it was about suicide."

It's tragic stories like these that emphasize the need for suicide prevention education. 

Each day there are more than 5000 suicide attempts by students in junior high and high school. 

Risner says teens need to speak openly about what they're going through. 

"With support, they can get through anything, but they have to open up and talk to somebody."

We also spoke with a school counselor in Burkburnett

Gloria Bond-Stanford says her office doesn't address the topic of suicide directly, because that can create additional frustrations and problems with students. Instead, she promotes positivity and tries to teach students how to manage their feelings.

"We celebrate the student's successes. and we try to help students who are not as successful find out ways to be successful," Bond-Stanford said.

"And the major thing we try to get across is that they are a very important person," she added.

Rider High School focuses on a weekly stress relief program, that started because of the suicide last September.

The Raiders held a balloon release for the student last Monday. In the coming days, Rider students will see interviews with the student's family, girlfriend, and coach, in an effort to continue the process of healing and suicide prevention education.

Officials in Burkburnett say the advent of social media has only created more stresses on students. At the beginning of the year, teachers went over proper social media etiquette with hopes to curb cyberbullying.

If you are a teen in crisis, you can contact the crisis text line at 741741. There is also the free "Jason Foundation" app which allows you to get help immediately or to learn about the warning signs of suicide. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-8255

Dave Caulfield, Newschannel 6 

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