NEWBURYPORT – Grief counselors and other trained crisis workers were made available to Newburyport High School students and staff Thursday morning, only hours after a senior took his own life, the superintendent said.
In an email sent to parents, Superintendent Sean Gallagher expressed his condolences to the student’s family and announced the presence of grief counselors throughout the day.
“It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that last night Newburyport High School suffered a tragic loss of one of their senior class members,” Gallagher said.
In addition to grief counselors, Newburyport School Resource Officer Megan Tierney and representatives from the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council were at the school.
“This is a regional crisis response team made up of a group of professionals that have experience working with school communities during times of crisis,” Gallagher wrote in his email.
Calls to Gallagher for comment on the atmosphere at the school Thursday were not returned.
The email sent by Gallagher contained links to Riverside Trauma Center, a suicide prevention facility in Needham; anonymous hotlines for those thinking of suicide, and other resources to help avert further tragedies.
Suicide symptoms and signs to look for, according to Riverside Trauma Center, are:
Complaining of being a bad person or feeling rotten/worthless inside.
Hopelessness, giving verbal hints such as “I won’t be a problem for you much longer” or “nothing matters.”
Putting his/her affairs in order such as giving away favorite possessions or throwing away important belongings.
Rage, uncontrollable anger, seeking revenge.
Acting recklessly or engaging in risky behavior.
Feeling trapped, like there’s no way out.
¢ Increasing alcohol or drug use.
¢ Withdrawing from friends, family or society.
¢ Anxiety, agitation, inability to sleep or sleeping all the time.
¢ Talking about wishing he/she were dead or wishing one was never born.
¢ Dramatic mood changes.
IF YOU NEED HELP
Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
The Samaritans: 1-877-870-HOPE (4673)