Schools and Student Suicide

Teenage suicide is a serious issue which has a ripple effect on everyone exposed to the tragedy. According to several mental health experts, the aftermath of a student’s suicide may actually worsen the conditions of other depressed teens. According to these specialists, candlelit vigils, memorials and large assemblies can often trigger additional suicides.

Darcy Haag Granello, professor of counselor education at Ohio State University, explains that “the first goal after a student suicide should be eliminating the contagion that can lead to copycat suicides.“ She brings up the example of a high school where a popular boy died of suicide. Staffers and students organized numerous memorials, only to experience another suicide one month later.

“This second student, who was at risk and vulnerable, had watched his classmates at all the memorials for the first boy and though ‘I wonder what they’d say about me?’ Schools need to let students know that suicide is not glamorous, but also give support by grieving.”

Schools throughout the U.S. are overwhelmed and under-staffed as is, and are largely unprepared to deal with a student’s suicide. Stephen Roggenbaum, a research assistant at the University of South Florida, has helped to develop the Youth Suicide Prevention School-Based Guide for institutes across the nation.

“Teachers and administrators have our youth for one third of their day….. Schools are already asked to do so much with fewer resources,” Roggenbaum said. “Many administrators don’t have time to scour the literature on youth suicide themselves. We’ve tried to fill that void.”
Dr. Nancy Rappaport, assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard University, strongly suggests incorporating mental health screenings into routine adolescent health care, like the program offered by Teen Screen National Center for Mental Health Checkups.

“From a historic perspective, 20 years ago schools thought the way to talk to students about suicide was during a large assembly, which was actually not helpful at all in identifying who might be at risk,” Rappaport said. “If you identify and treat depression, you decrease the suicide rate. Any time a school community loses a student to suicide, it’s heartbreaking…. There is nothing worse.”

Princess Cheats Death

Living Like a “Princess”

A dog in Hamden nearly died, having endured a stabbing back in May.  But now it seems the dog is having the life it deserves.  One-year-old Princess, a Staffordshire terrier, was taken in by Diane Pearce a fortnight ago, in Hamden, having started her life in New Haven with Alexander Bernard who clearly wasn’t the right match for the young pooch.  Indeed, in a recent news article, Bernard admitted to police that he had been stabbing his dog “a lot, all over,” as he had been bothered by her from other people, in addition to the fact that he was dealing with various familial issues.

Wells to Rescue

But North Haven Animal Hospital veterinarian Dr. James Wells came to Princess’ rescue following the dog’s latest attack from the owner’s “friend.”  She had endured a staggering 29 stab wounds and  needed to spend more than three months at the animal hospital, from where she was sent to North Haven Animal Shelter.  Christopher Smith of Animal Control Officer, chose Diane Pearce to be Princess’ new owner.  She is thrilled and brought the dog home shortly after her own Staffordshire terrier, Lucy, passed away from breast cancer.

Princess Leads Parade

Princess is very happy and living the life a true “princess” deserves as she leads the pack as the grand marshal at the Paws on Parade Halloween Costume Pet Parade sponsored by Hamden Happy Tails and Joiya Day Spa donned in a tiara with her pink leash and collar “because,” as Pearce recognizes, “she is a princess.”

Finally after all she has been through, it is clear that Princess will be living the life of a true Princess.


Shevell to Love, Love, McCartney Do


It’s not like he’s had an easy run of things in the love department, our former Beatles star.  Despite his great financial wealth, one could justifiably feel very sorry for Paul McCartney in the love department.  First, the love of his life for many years, his true soul-mate Linda, dies.  Then he marries someone else, it doesn’t work out and she tries to take all his money.  One couldn’t exactly blame the guy if he gave up trying to find love.  But clearly that’s not McCartney’s style and it seems – “with a little help from his friends” – he may just “get by.”  Let’s hope.

Third Time’s a Charm

The 69-year old McCartney, just got married for the third time.   This time it’s unlikely he’s going to have a money issue as American Nancy Shevell is a millionaire heiress in her own right.  And McCartney showed his appreciation and adoration for his new bride when he sang a song he wrote especially for her in the reception they hosted in a marquee at his house.  The newly-wed couple enjoyed a lovely dance together and according to reports from a news article.  The song he sang for her was a delightful, romantic song which was very appropriate for the beautiful event.

As McCartney learned from his last marriage, money “can’t buy [me] love,” so all hopes are that he’ll always “want to hold [Shevell’s] hand.”


‘I Do’ 100 Times!

One couple broke the record of how many times they can exchange vows.  They just said ‘I do’ for the 100th time in Hawaii at the Hard Rock Café, in Honolulu.  David and Lauren Blair first met in 1982 and it was love at first site.  The couple – from Tennessee – dated for just three months before David’s proposal but was rejected on his first attempt!  Soon after she did accept and the couple were wed two years later in Topanga Canyon, CA.

But apparently, getting wed once just wasn’t enough.  Today – Lauren aged 60 and David aged 58 – have broken the record of renewing their vows 99 times.  What’s even more unique about this couple is that each vow renewal was in a different location. 

So why did they feel the need to do this? Just to break a record?  Apparently  not.  According to the article that reported on this in Guinness World Records, Lauren explained, “we were both in long term relationships in the past that didn't work out.  We knew we were meant for each other and wanted to continually share that vow experience.  I love to look into David's eyes as he is repeating his vows.  I know that this man will love me until the day I die.  Of course, David will tell you that he does it for the honeymoons!”

First Lady Assists Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

A nice spot of charitable work undertaken by the rich and famous will always grab a headline and that’s exactly what First Lady Michelle Obama did when she joined the show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on ABC.  Allegedly, Mrs. Obama is quite a fan of the show that builds an incredible home for a family caught in some kind of devastation or tragedy trap.  According to an article in People, Mrs. Obama said, “this particular show is especially moving because it features Barbara Marshall, a Navy veteran, who despite her own struggles opened her home to serve homeless female vetarans in her community. She's an amazing example of the strength, values and service of America's veterans." 

Along with Dr. Jill Biden, the First Lady was participating in the Joining Forces initiative that tries to make life easier for veterans and their families.  It was Obama, Ty Pennington and his Fayetteville crew that began this work together.  The First Lady's job was to hang plaques, while admitting she had somewhat "limited" handy skills.  Still, it was clear she wasn't afraid of a bit of hard work since she was also spotted doing some of the gardening in the back yard. 

Part of a Good Cause

According to a report in Reality Magazine, the best thing about the project for the First Lady was, "to be part of an event so life-changing for such a deserving person."  She added that "Mrs. Marshall is a prime example of an American veteran who continues to serve her community with everything she has.  I hope lots of people will be inspired by her story to give back to their communities – especially to service members and their families."