How to talk about suicide with your kids


COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -You are not alone: that's the message for hundreds of students who just learned their principal committed suicide.    

Coeur d'Alene High School principal Troy Schueller died this afternoon.  The school district has now canceled classes tomorrow at the high school so the community can come to terms with the news, sending the following message home:    

"Dear Viking Family,

Coeur d'Alene High School is open this evening as needed to grieving students, staff and families. School is cancelled tomorrow, but the District Crisis Team is available all day from 7:30 to 2:30 to assist anyone who needs support. Please do not hesitate to come by CHS. IF you know someone who needs support please call CHS at 667-4507."

How do you talk to your kids about a situation like this, especially when one of their resources just became a victim? Suicide is a subject which unfortunately has touched nearly everyone in one way or another and yet its a something no one wants to talk about. In light of today's news KHQ sat down with a mental health professional with Spokane Public Schools to talk about how to approach this delicate subject with kids.

"Kids need to know that there are trusting, caring adults everywhere- every single school has adults that love them, care about them, and want to support them. Every single school has adults that are trained in suicide prevention and don't be afraid to go an ask someone for help."    

Student Services Coordinator Chris Moore says kids deal with effects differently and parents need to be there for them.

"Some students will kind of hull up and want to be by themselves, some will cry, and you'll need to grab a box of tissue and hold their hand and cry with them; some will be angry- and please let your kids be angry. Really, all you need to say is 'I'm so sorry, honey, I'm here for you.'"

Above all else Moore says that the most important thing is to never lose hope.

"You're not alone and there's always hope and there are always people to help you. You might feel like you're the only one feeling the way that you do, but you're not. More and more people are feeling stress and anxiety and depression and it's kind of normal these days and there's hope."

We want to share these available resources:

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is open 24/7. You can call them at 1-800-273-82-55.   

If you would rather text, send the word "CONNECT" to 741-741.

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