Student suicide

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by otsegogirl27, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. otsegogirl27

    otsegogirl27 Rookie

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    Mar 7, 2014

    Hey all- I am writing tonight because my school has had a rather tough year. This is my 2nd year in public school and we have lost multiple kids this year between suicide and accidental deaths. I am more affected by one students suicide in particular because he was in my class last year and an employee at mine and my husbands restaurant. We recently had a suicide training and it brought a lot of emotions back that I guess I had pushed down.

    I have a TON of "what if's" going through my mind. My husband was the last person (between school and the restaurant) to see him and he just did not seem suicidal. We found out some incidents after he was dead, but no one was informed until that point. If we had known... of course we would have known about the major red flags.

    The point is- we had no clue... not many did. He was happy, social, had friends, etc... but 3 days before he died my husband said he seemed "off" (told me after the fact...). "Off" as in- he was told grades were an issue, but he thought he just had a bad day and he did not seem suicidal. What do you do in that instance? How do you deal with the "what if's"? How do you fully move past it? I spoke with someone at our school yesterday (yes, 6 months later, but better late than never) and they suggested doing some reading about grief and suicide. Do any of you have any recommendations for reading material or have any input on how to get past the "what if's"? I would appreciate any and all input I can get. Thank you :)
     
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  3. creativemonster

    creativemonster Cohort

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    Mar 7, 2014

    Wow. My heart goes out to you. This is an enormous thing to be dealing with. Does your school offer grief counseling? You might want to search some out on your own. No advice. Just internet hugs. And please please know that it is NOT in ANY WAY your, or anyone's fault. It's easy to see everything in retrospect. Don't beat yourself up for not being able to read somebody's mind. More internet hugs.
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 7, 2014

    otsegogirl, I don't have any good suggestions for you, but let me express my condolences.
     
  5. otsegogirl27

    otsegogirl27 Rookie

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    Thank you both. Both posts made me tear up. It's been 6 months and I still have so much going through my mind. I do know it's not my fault, or my schools... or my husbands as the business owner. It's just tough. So much guilt, regret, etc... on all of our parts. I feel like I could have done more had I known the events before his suicide were because of him. The "what if's" are killer though.
     
  6. otsegogirl27

    otsegogirl27 Rookie

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    I did go to a counselor after the suicide training and let her know I wanted to speak during the training, but didn't want to end up crying. I spoke with her in private; she wasn't even his counselor, but someone I relate more with and view more as someone I can personally talk to and not be embarrassed. Without knowing him, she recommended talking about it and reading about it... I have always held things in until they just explode; that is normal for me... but in the field of special ed, I owe them my everything. I just have this weighing heavily on me, even 6 months later.
     
  7. otsegogirl27

    otsegogirl27 Rookie

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    Mar 7, 2014

    creativemonster- Would it be bad for a teacher to seek out other help in dealing with this? I am new to the school system and am trying to do everything as best as I possibly can... I just don't want to seem like I can't handle it... I have been told it is unlikely to lose a student a year... I don't know if that is true though! Are multiple student deaths an every year thing? Whether I know them or not?
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 7, 2014

    Six months isn't very long for something like this, otsego: he was your student and your employee, which places him twice in your care. This isn't hard because of anything you've done wrong, it's hard because it's just plain hard.
     
  9. otsegogirl27

    otsegogirl27 Rookie

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    You are right TeacherGroupie... It is hard. I just don't know how to deal or what to do. I haven't let it get to me this much in 5 months give or take... Just a rough time with that training I guess.
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    As for seeking other help, otsego, I think that would be not only not bad but very wise.
     
  11. otsegogirl27

    otsegogirl27 Rookie

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    It took a long time, but I am beginning to open up about it. I held it in for 6 months; my husband did too... but I know if I want to be the teacher I know I am, I need to deal with it one way or another. Someone asked me if I would consider hiring someone from my school at the store and my response simply was that if we did, it couldn't be someone I knew. That may change; I hope it does. I know some amazing kids who would be a huge asset to the restaurant. I am just hesitant because of what happened 6 months ago. I felt terrible saying that.
     
  12. otsegogirl27

    otsegogirl27 Rookie

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    If you go to a school counselor or the psychologist- is that confidential or chatted about throughout the admin or school? Just curious...
     
  13. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 8, 2014

    It would be at least as surprising if you weren't hesitant, otsego - though I also hope and expect that your response will change.

    As to whether a school counselor or school psychologist will keep things confidential, one would expect and hope so, at least in the case of the psychologist: practitioner-client privilege surely extends to psychology. If you're concerned, though, and if finances allow, you could go outside the school system.
     
  14. teach1

    teach1 Companion

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    Mar 8, 2014

    otsego - first off, i am very sorry about what you are going through. secondly, you might even be able to find a free support counselor outside of your school system (if finances are an issue).
    check around for some in your area... they exist near me.
     
  15. creativemonster

    creativemonster Cohort

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    My personal view is that it is not at all thought of as bad to seek out a professional - it is a sign that you realize the enormity of what happened and that you are dealing with your response head on. Burying emotions can lead to all sorts of problems. I agree with others that you might want to look outside of your school for a therapist or counselor - it might be easier to talk to someone who is outside of the school community and is just there for YOU. If you do end up talking to somebody at school you might want to start by discussing your concerns that your time with them be private. And like teach1 said - there are places that offer free or reduced counseling. Especially if you are in a city. Keep breathing. Losing students is NOT an everyday occurrence. I cannot imagine what you are going through. More hugs.
     
  16. otsegogirl27

    otsegogirl27 Rookie

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    Mar 9, 2014

    Thank you guys. I am the queen of burying my emotions- ever since I was a kid. Now I'm at the point where everything is coming to the point where it needs to come out. I've never had depression issues, never had a counselor for anything, but being in my 30's I'm realizing I may need a different way to let things out. I've always felt like that counseling was never a good option for me and that I could deal with things on my own... but things change. Thanks for opening my eyes to that option.
     

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