Grief counselors at Southgate middle school day after suicide

Grief counselors at Southgate middle school day after student's suicide

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Davidson Middle School in Southgate Davidson Middle School in Southgate
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SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

Grief counselors were on hand one day after a 13-year-old student took his own life at Davidson Middle School in Southgate.

"Suicide in children is a rare event.  When it happens, it's obviously the most devastating thing to happen to a family and to a community," said Beaumont psychiatrist Dr. Joel Young.

Classmates and teachers are still reeling.  Some went to the school on Friday to meet with grief counselors, but the effect of the tragedy ripples far beyond Southgate.  It is touching children and families all over metro Detroit.

Young said there is something parents can do to help their children cope.

"What they need is an opportunity to talk and to ventilate their feelings," he explained.

However, parents shouldn't force it.

"Don't be surprised if you child doesn't want to follow through.  He just might want to move on with his day and not think such terrible thoughts, and I think that's perfectly normal behavior," said Young.

The psychiatrist said parents should also look for more serious signs that may mean your child needs professional help.

"Oftentimes kids and adolescents are angry and impulsively violent, and this is sometimes a sign of depression," Young said.

The school is working to put a lot of resources in place for families.  There will be a meeting just for Davidson Middle School parents on Sunday night to walk them through what to expect on Monday morning, and grief counselors will remain available.

There are many resources available for anyone who is struggling with mental health issues and thinking about suicide.  Pick up the phone and call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline where there is help available 24 hours a day.  That number is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).  You can also find them online at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

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