Suicide is strongly suspected as the cause of death for a 17 year-old A&M Consolidated High School student found dead last Thursday, and a 19 year-old Consol graduate found dead Thursday, February 19th.
Officers say both died by hanging. Foul play is not suspected in either death.
School officials say the 19-year-old graduated early, in December 2007. College Station Police say he was found in the woods near his home Thursday evening.
The first teen's death prompted the school district to arrange for more training of its guidance counselors on grief counseling. That training is set for February 25th.
District officials say the counselors will share the information they learn with parents, at a later date.
KBTX General Manager Mike Wright and News Director Mike George made the following statement: "Normally suicide, especially among teens, is not a subject we report at KBTX. Because of two deaths so close together, both in time and age, we felt we had to provide information to viewers in an effort to prevent this from happening in our community again."
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among teens and young adults 15 to 24.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry provided the following information:
Many of the signs and symptoms of suicidal feelings are similar to those of depression. Parents should be aware of the following signs of adolescents who may try to kill themselves:
-change in eating and sleeping habits
-withdrawal from friends, family, and regular activities
-violent actions, rebellious behavior, or running away
-drug and alcohol use
-unusual neglect of personal appearance
-marked personality change
-persistent boredom, difficulty concentrating, or a decline in the quality of schoolwork
-frequent complaints about physical symptoms, often related to emotions, such as stomachaches, headaches, fatigue, etc.
-loss of interest in pleasurable activities
-not tolerating praise or rewards
A teenager who is planning to commit suicide may also:
-complain of being a bad person or feeling rotten inside
-give verbal hints with statements such as: I won't be a problem for you much longer, Nothing matters, It's no use, and I won't see you again
-put his or her affairs in order, for example, give away favorite possessions, clean his or her room, throw away important belongings, etc.
-become suddenly cheerful after a period of depression
-have signs of psychosis (hallucinations or bizarre thoughts)
For more information about teen and young adult suicide, copy and paste the link below:
Statement from KBTX General Manager Mike Wright:
It has long been the policy to not report on suicide out of respect for families. With two unrelated occurrences within a short amount of time, KBTX felt a heavy responsibility to remind parents, friends and relatives of the importance of looking for signs, giving whatever information was available that may serve to prevent such a tragedy. Moving forward, the comment feature attached to the majority of our stories will not be available on stories of this nature out of respect for the families dealing with this issue.