Where to Get Help with Suicidal Thoughts at FHN
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Family problems. Depression. Emotional pain. These are common reasons that a student would typically be faced with suicidal thoughts at FHN, according to guidance counselor Mary Kerr-Grant. Most of the time, according to Kerr-Grant, the situation isn’t reported by the student who is feeling suicidal.
“Sometimes a student will come to me directly,” Kerr-Grant said. “I would say most often, a friend or a parent will contact me and express concern about someone.”
Once someone goes to the guidance office or is referred to there, the person goes through a number of questions from their counselor. They are also sent to work with FHN’s Educational Support Counselor, Barry Morrison, to get additional help dealing with their suicidal thoughts.
“We will assess the level of risk,” Morrison said. “If someone really is suicidal, we will contact a parent or guardian and we will inform them of the situation and what the student has shared.”
If deemed serious enough, the student is then referred to local emergency rooms, such as SSM or St. Joseph’s. Then, they make sure the student is admitted somewhere that the family’s health insurance is accepted so they can afford the cost of treatment.
“We would try to connect families with mental health resources in our community,” FHSD Director of Student Services Jennifer Patterson said. “Our counselors and our educational support counselors have a resource guide of providers in the community to give to the parents the list so they can get an in-depth assessment of their child.”
With suicide rates on the rise, Kerr-Grant believes that there is more to be done to prevent and help those that are faced with suicidal thoughts. According to Kerr-Grant, someone who is showing suicidal feelings should never go under the radar.
“The suicide rate is going up in our country, and that’s a big concern because there’s more awareness and more prevention,” Kerr-Grant said. “I think it’s very important we never ever underestimate when someone says something that sounds like a suicidal thought.”