Stillwater suicide affects many in Green Country

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Updated: 9/27/2012 9:29 am Published: 9/26/2012 8:57 pm

As those in Stillwater try to make sense of thirteen-year-old Cade Poulos' suicide Wednesday at Stillwater Junior High School, people at Jenks High School know the emotions and confusion surrounding suicide all too well after a well-known and popular former student took his own life two weeks ago.
“We haven't been able to settle down, and in light of what happened today, it's going to keep reverberating,” Jenks Counselor Paula Lau told FOX23 Wednesday.
Lau says students are still in shock about the death of the 15-year-old.
“It just had repercussions throughout that entire student body; the kids really do know each other better than they think they do.”
Staffers like Lau have had a hard time finding the right way to respond.
“We struggle at the school with acknowledging this kind of death because we don't want to glorify it. We don't it to be something where a kid might go, ‘Oh this would be a great way to get attention.’”
Counselors have been available for all students, but Lau says beyond debriefing their grief,  the district will talk more openly about suicide and how to keep kids alive.
“One of the things that I think is going to be very important over the next year is just educating kids about the warning signs of suicide and how to take it seriously,” she said.
More than just suicide prevention education, Lau says there's been another silver lining in the aftermath.
“One of the students said they had never felt more loved at Jenks as the kids have pulled together. They’ve really tried to be kinder and gentler to one another in light of all of this.”
The death of Poulos also hits Robin Hudson hard. She remembers the day her son, Tyler, took his own life.
“It was gut-wrenching to be here sitting and have that knock at the door, with suicide it is a grief that is unimaginable,” Hudson said.
She knows the Polous family is suffering in the face of so many questions.
“It doesn't matter why it happened, it doesn't matter what happened, it happened and they have a lost a child and no one should have to go through that.”
From her own experience as a mother and a counselor, she says moving on after suicide is never easy.
“I think it's a constant process, I don't think it's something you can ever get over I think it's something you have to learn to live with.”
For her, it's frustrating and dangerous that suicide lives in the shadows.
“Right now, there's such a stigma about (suicide) and there shouldn't be,” Hudson told FOX23.
She feels this is a wake up call for all parents.
“Talking to your kids about depression and suicide should be like talking to them about drugs and sex; it should be a normal conversation.”
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-(800)-273-TALK (8255).
To visit the foundation Tyler’s parents set up in his memory, visit this website:

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

susiesunshine - 9/26/2012 9:17 PM
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Please. please. any child, teen or adult -- reach out to someone. You must talk to someone. There are some amazing professionals at The Tristesse Grief Center.
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