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 suicide 
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How do you handle a student who has just returned to class after attempting suicide? Do you treat him/her differently than other students? We've discussed homosexuality and religion however in areas that I have worked, these have not been a noticable problem. Suicide is a very real possibility that everyone needs to consider because children are the leading group of suicide and the likelihood that you'll come in contact with this is much greater than the others. :(


Fri Apr 02, 2004 9:23 pm
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Kim, that is really something to think about. I think the first thing I would do is talk to the Guidance Counselor in our School to get his/her input on the situation. Then, I would go from there. Of course, I would want the child to talk with the Guidance Counselor when he/she returns to school. But, I think I would try to treat the student as normal as possible. I would try to not draw alot of attention their way. However, this may not be the right direction to turn. Does anyone else have any other suggestions?


Sun Apr 04, 2004 2:51 pm
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i agree with you wanda, i feel you should try to treat them as normal as possible. these kids are probably already getting a type of suicide counseling from the guidance counsler and/or a private psychiatrist. they probably don't want to be reminded of it in the classroom. you may wnat to be extra observant with his/her actions, coments, etc. in case they try again. but other than that it would probably be a good idea to treat them like any other student. also, this might be far fetched but ... the school might want to sit down with the fellow classmates of this student. i'm sure there are plenty of rumors going around and, especially in smaller communities, i think there needs to be someone there to explain to the kids as to what is going on ... but that might be a bad idea at the same time ... i don't know ... what do you all think?


Mon Apr 05, 2004 9:34 pm
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This problem is huge. I can honestly say I know 5 people that have tried to kill themselves- 4 of which were under the age of 18 at the time, some even 14. You can't just gloss over these things. In my opinion they need to be approached by each of their teachers. Something along the lines of "I'm really glad you're back in class, if I can help you with anything at all, please let me know. Also, the counselor here is very good if you need someone to talk with in private." I think facilitating a conversation with the student is the most important thing. So many times depressed or anxious and suicidal kids think nobody cares about them at all- so why live another day? Well if we as teachers make an effort to care, really care- not just "where is susie today"- it could change lives! I remember my senior year in school I was incredibly depressed, for tons of reasons, but my art teacher was just amazing! She helped me more than anyone- friends, family, co-workers! I will never forget her for caring for me when I truly felt no one else did.

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Leigh Ann Parrish... put yo back into it!


Wed Apr 14, 2004 11:24 am
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I never really thought about how to handle a situation of this sort. We had so many people, starting in middle school, that attempted suicide. Sadly enough, most of them never returned to school. I think it would be best to prepare the class beforehand and let students voice their thoughts so it lessens the awkwardness of the student's return. I wouldn't smother the student either, they'll talk most likely when they're ready to. I would also get some good information on places they can go to talk to someone, especially if they were not comfortable talking to me or the guidance counselor.

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Ashley McGlothlin


Wed Apr 14, 2004 3:21 pm
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I am in a position where I will be dealing with a girl in the youth group I lead who has attempted suicide. Unlike the situation we're discussing, I am the only one who knows about the situation besides her sister and I will seek to keep it that way. I will do everything in my power not to alienate her or make her feel odd, but I have not decided yet whether or not I will discuss it with her.

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Tobey Mitchell


Tue May 04, 2004 5:30 pm
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