Parental concerns prompt JHS to hold forumJamestown High School is holding a community forum Thursday to address parent concerns after the death of one student earlier this month. Tanner Moore, 16, died May 11 at Jamestown Hospital.
By: Katie Ryan, The Jamestown Sun
Jamestown High School is holding a community forum Thursday to address parent concerns after the death of one student earlier this month.
Tanner Moore, 16, died May 11 at Jamestown Hospital.
Some parents have expressed concern regarding the mental health of their children following the loss of a classmate and friend. So mental health professionals for the South Central Human Service Center will speak to parent concerns at the forum, said Gayle Nelson, high school guidance counselor.
Dr. Dan Kramer, licensed psychologist, and Stacey Hunt, psychology trainee, will speak on suicide and suicidal behavior, Hunt said, to give parents a better idea of what children are thinking.
For adolescents, many times they don’t realize that others experience pain similar to their own.
“They can feel like this is the worst thing in the world and no one has ever felt this way before,” Hunt said.
And while teenagers confide in friends and peers, they don’t confide in parents or teachers as often. This is an even greater concern during the summer months when children don’t have the supervision they normally would in school, she said.
Hunt said parents should be willing to speak to their children about depression, death and suicide even if it’s uncomfortable and even if the child gets upset.
“Don’t be afraid to talk to your kids, it’s OK to be nervous,” she said.
Students experiencing mental health problems may withdraw from parents or friends, Kramer said. Other signs include varying sleep patterns or a preoccupation with death.
“If you have concerns talk to your children about them,” he said.
Parents should be forward and ask their children if the child has thought of harming himself or herself. If the answer is yes, find out how clear the child’s ideas are, Kramer said.
If the plans are detailed, seek help, he said. The South Central Human Service Center has a crisis line available 24 hours a day. Its number is 253-6304.
The meeting is at 7 p.m. Thursday at Jamestown Middle School Thompson Community Room.
Sun reporter Katie Ryan can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by e-mail at email@example.com