Mom's message: Talk to your kids about suicide

November 7, 2016
in Kids

The Coloradoan partnered with SummitStone Health Partners to host a mental health training this week. We asked the speakers why this discussion matters. Jacy Marmaduke/The Coloradoan Shay Black and Hollis Hunt have a clear message for residents of Berthoud after the high school suffered its second suicide in eight months last week: Talk to your kids about how they are truly feeling. Monday will be the first day back for the 720 students at Berthoud High School since sophomore Joshua Francis, 15, died by suicide in the school Thursday morning. "Parents need to flat out ask your child if they feel anxiety, if they have ever felt like taking their life,'' said Black, whose son A.J., a BHS junior, died by suicide in April in their Johnstown home. "I'm blown away by the kids who tell me they have had this feeling. That's why it's so important to speak about it.'' Hunt, community pastor at Grace Place church in Berthoud, echoed Black's message. Like Black, the father of five knows firsthand the pain of suicide. But unlike Black, Hunt's son revealed his plan to commit suicide to a Berthoud High School counselor who intervened. "Don't get me wrong, adults having conversation about this is good, but we must engage our kids and ask them what they need instead of having conversations without them,'' Hunt said. Thompson School...

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