Roncalli students dealing with classmate's suicide

Published: .
Updated: .

Students at an Indianapolis high school spent much of the day comforting one another after learning one of their classmates committed suicide.

Suicide is a tough issue for adults to wrap their minds around, much less teenagers, struggling to understand why this happens.

It was a somber day at Roncalli High School on the city's southeast side after students learned one of their own - a junior who was member of the school's lacrosse team - committed suicide. Counselors spent the day helping students through this tough time.

"We can't blame ourselves. Sometimes, teenagers and even adults can be very good at hiding how they're really feeling and can make an impulsive decision," said Dr. Rachel Ziegler.

Lorri Benson remembers navigating those scary teen years. It wasn't all that long ago that her daughter was dealing with life.

"She was a student-athlete, so we did have the body image, because she was very athletic," said Lorri.

"I think starting off with teenagers and just asking them basic questions like 'What's going on in their life'," said Ziegler.

Ziegler has spent years counseling teens. She says spending time with your child can be the best prevention recognizing warning signs before things turn deadly.

"I think the biggest thing is change. If you're noticing a big change in their behavior, friend group, if they've recently gotten trouble at school, if they've had a drop in grades recently," said Ziegler.

Sometimes, the signs may be even more blatant than that with your teen flat out saying, "I want to kill myself." Ziegler says parents should never be afraid to seek help right away, even if it's emergency help at your local hospital.

"I think that seeking help is an important thing when a parent has any kind of a concern, because talking about it is going to be the key to recognizing," she said.

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts and needs someone to talk to, the National Suicide Hotline is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-SUICIDE.