In 2003 Dianna Robinson lost her son, Jared, to suicide. He was only 14-years-old when he overdosed on his depression medication but years later Robinson said she's learning how to move forward.
"Grief is a very hard thing and it's not something you get over, you just get through it," said Robinson. "So after a while the memories are good and it takes a different amount of time for everybody but at some point honoring his life instead of just remembering this death is the only positive thing that can come out of this."
A tragedy that has surfaced again and again in
School officials said they aren't taking that lightly.
"We have a county wide crisis team that responds to assist the students with mental health services and they also have of course their home school counselors that assist. Also with any students that feel like they need to speak with someone," said Julie Matheny, Washington County Public Schools counselor.
Counselors said there's no one cause for suicide but that mental health illness is a factor. Early warning signs can be changes in sleep patterns, intense anxiety, and feelings of hopelessness.
"They feel totally alone and totally desolate," said Robinson. "That point where there's no longer any hope that it's going to get better. And that's the trigger whatever it is. I don't know. I did not know for him."
And for the families dealing with this type of loss, Robinson said it takes time but things do get better.
"But for the loss of a child in a family that's a huge hole and it never goes away," said Robinson. "It gets smaller and your family brings to function in a new normal but there will never be the same feeling to the family dynamics but it doesn't mean you won't be happy again or you won't find joy."
School counselors said WCPS teachers are trained every year in suicide warning signs and prevention and they hope to expand those efforts to parents and students.
For more information about suicide prevention, click here.
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