2012-10-09 at 16:56
Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board superintendent of education Pino Tassone said suicide prevention is a priority at his schools.
NO FEE! NO FUSS!Finally... Prepaid credit cards with NO transaction fees! Find it at Xtra Cash!Click here for full list of services
Click here to submit a letter to the editor.
A superintendent of education with the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board says counsellors are being made available in the wake of the attempted suicide of three teenagers over the weekend.
While police have not yet indicated which school the teens in question attended, Pino Tassone said the crisis response team has been notified of the incident and are there to help anyone who needs it. As well, he added, each high school in the Catholic Board system has social workers on staff trained to deal with tragedies and near tragedies.
“On behalf of the board, our prayers are with family and friends as well as the schools of those students,” Tassone said on Tuesday.
Luckily incidents like these are rare.
That doesn’t mean school officials aren’t concerned about it happening again, or worse, a copy cat incident.
“That definitely would be a concern of ours. I think as a board we’ve done everything we could and will continue to do so in terms of preventing something like this from happening.”
It’s always a work in process, Tassone added, noting the board is introducing the Safe Talk program, a suicide awareness and prevention program, into its schools later this year.
“We’re always working hard to prevent and provide supports. I don’t have all the details (in this case), but we know there are mental health issues across the board and they’re escalating,” he said.
On Tuesday the board announced the hiring of Mirella Fata, their new mental health lead, to deal with the increasing frequency of mental health problems in local schools.
Margaret Hajdinjak, a suicide awareness activist, said she was shocked when she read the story, but added even more resources are needed to correct the problem.
“There’s not enough support in the community for the families really. I think those families, even if they just got together themselves and talked about it and talk about it to the kids,” Hajdinjak said.
A spokesman for Lakehead Public schools told CKPR that officials at all of their schools have been notified and counsellors put on notice in case their services are needed.
Police officials said their youth section will be following up on the alleged overdoses. No reason has yet been given.
“At present it has not been confirmed as to why the individuals attempted to overdose. Health professionals and family members are now providing the support needed for these young people to deal with this situation. This type of incident is just a reminder as to the complexity and difficulties many youth face during the teen years,” Const. Julie Tilbury said in a release issued Tuesday afternoon.
- With files from Jamie Smith
Click here to report a typo or error