One school district in the Tennessee Valley will soon have a new resource for students struggling with mental health issues. Thanks to the Crisis Services of North Alabama, every school in the Limestone County School District will be getting free suicide prevention training. WAAY 31 learned just what this training entails, and what parents and teachers think about it.
“Recently, we’ve had several incidents here in Limestone County of murder-suicide, so I know it’s on our students’ minds," said Brad Lewis, the Executive Director of Curriculum Instruction of Limestone County Schools. That's one of the many reasons why school officials and parents say this training is more important than ever.
“My husband and I lost our son to suicide a few years ago," said Deana Dayton. She knows the pain that comes with losing a child to suicide and fully supports Limestone County Schools’ decision to partner with Crisis Services of North Alabama and bring suicide prevention training to all schools in the district. "Our young people, our young children, they all have something to offer the world," she said. "And they’re here for a reason.”
The training would teach students and teachers the warning signs of suicide. "Maybe they’re giving away prized possessions," said Jan Tribble, Director of Secondary Curriculum of Limestone County Schools. "Maybe they’re just acting out of character.” Dayton is a teacher at a Limestone County School and says she sees some of those warning signs all the time. "They’re just withdrawn, or else they’re aggressive for unknown reasons," she said.
However, Dayton believes the new program is definitely a step in the right direction. "Life is too short. Everyone’s life is incredibly valuable and can never be replaced," she said. "And, so, anything you can do to support and be positive, and help someone along the way, we need to be doing it.”