GARRETT, Ind. (WANE) While parents of students at Garrett Middle School continue to express concern about the rumored 'suicide pact' at the school, one mother is saying there never was a pact.
NewsChannel 15 spoke with a woman (name withheld) who said her son was one of the kids who tried to commit suicide at Garrett Middle School. She said that, according to her son, there never was a suicide pact. She said her son and his friend both tried to kill themselves but it was not part of a larger, organized series of attempts that included other students.
The woman told NewsChannel 15 it all began when a student told a counselor she or he had heard of a potential suicide pact about three weeks before the initial article on WANE.com .
The mother said school leaders then began questioning parents and students and it was shortly thereafter the rumor mill started. She said her son tried to kill himself sometime after the student went to the counselor office.
The woman thinks folks in the community should get over the 'suicide pact' part of the story and focus more on how they can help kids deal with growing issue.
Garrett police and the school corporation are still looking into the rumored pact.
Whether or not there was ever a pact, it was still the talk of the small town on Friday. Some said that regardless of whether the suicide pact is true, something needs to be done in the school. Randy Bixler was one of the many people in Garrett on Friday talking about the suicide pact.
"I would encourage the schools to think about direct education on what that means," Bixler said. "What that kind of death and the grieving that the families experience and the kind of things they are exposed to and what they go through, that would be the harsh reality of something like this."
Jennifer Barnes is the head facilitator at We the Living, an area support group for those who have lost a loved one to suicide. When she heard reports of the suicide pact at Garrett Middle School, she was shocked.
Barnes, who has lost both her father and friend to suicide, doesn't think the solution lies in looking for the source of the reports. She thinks leaders should use it as an opportunity to deal with the growing epidemic.
"Our group is seeing very big increase in parents losing a child to suicide," Barnes said. "At least find somebody you can confide in. Get the help that you need if you really are suicidal because it's not worth it. Whatever you're going through it will get better. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem."
There will be a meeting about the suicide pact reports on Monday, November 19 at 6 p.m. School leaders will address the issue in the the school's performing arts center. All Garrett Middle School parents are invited.
The following are links to resources on suicide awareness and prevention.
A support group for those who have lost loved ones to suicide.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline
SPRC - Suicide Prevention Resource Center
Promoting a public approach to suicide prevention
U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs - Suicide Prevention Mini-Clinic
Many VA resources exist to support Veterans, including suicide prevention staff , crisis call and chat line , and to support providers to assess suicide risk and safety planning. These resources are reviewed in this mini-clinic.
SAMHSA - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.
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