Lawrence Central mourns loss of student in apparent suicide Friday

INDIANAPOLIS - A Friday night at Lawrence Central usually means students, parents and fans getting together to scream for their Bears. This Friday, though, the evening took a more somber tone.

Students and fans alike took a moment to remember one of their own: a freshman student who died after attempting suicide at the school earlier that day.

"She was a really good friend, and she cared about me and I cared about her and she was always there for me," said Cheyenne Ramos, laying down a rose and a note in memory of her friend. "I just wrote: I miss you, and I love you."

School officials offered few details about the tragedy, choosing instead to release a statement.

"It is with deep sadness that I am letting the Lawrence Central family know that a student who attempted suicide earlier today was pronounced dead early this afternoon," school officials wrote in the release. "We are devastated by the events of the day. Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers."

RTV6 spoke with Susan Grant, a clinical social worker at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St.Vincent, about what parents can do if they suspect their children are dealing with suicidal thoughts.

"Keep the communication open," Grant said. "Talk to your kids. And you know, sometimes you may think, 'Well, they don't listen to me.' Tell them they can talk to anyone. Look for someone they can talk to and keep that communication open."

According to the Indiana Dept. of Health, suicide is the third leading cause of death among 10- to 14-year-olds. Warning signs include a child withdrawing from their family, experiencing dramatic mood changes and giving away prized possessions.

"It's normal for someone to be sad for a day or two," Grant said. "But if you see your teenager sad for going on two weeks, then that is a time you will say, 'Ok, I need to find help for my teenager.'"

This July, the Indiana Dept. of Education stopped issuing licenses to new teachers who hadn't successfully completed education and training on the prevention and recognition of signs of child suicide.

If you or anyone you know is showing signs of suicidal tendencies, there is help available. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255.

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