Mental Health Professional Addresses Parents after Incident
SAN JUAN – A student is getting the help he needs after an incident at PSJA High School Thursday morning.
The student attempted to take his life in front of a number of his classmates. A teacher and other students rescued the student before anything more could happen.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke with a mental health professional who said the events may have been frightening for students and faculty, but there are some takeaways moving forward.
Ricardo Tovar is a psychiatric nurse. He said the biggest positive that we can take away is the student is safe now.
“He can get counseling on an outpatient basis, at least for this adolescent the treatment can begin,” he said.
Tovar said there are warning signs that parents and teachers should always look for to see if a child is in need of help. He said awareness is key.
“We all read about the feeling withdrawn, you’ll notice that your son or your daughter, where they were this person that would like to go out with their friends, now they are being isolated. Or you will see their grades all of a sudden there were a straight A, B student now all of a sudden you will see their grades deteriorate in school,” he said.
Tovar said once a parent sees that their child may be having an issue, the way they speak to them about it is extremely important.
“In the times that we need to intervene, be nonjudgmental, when you speak to your son or daughter focus on listening rather than lecturing. A lot of times when we start to lecture our children, that is when they stop listening and we are not going to get to them. So focus on the listening and acknowledge their feelings. To us a lot of times their problems don’t seem like problems, but to them they are,” he said.
Tovar said he hopes another positive moving forward is the stigma surrounding these types of illnesses can disappear. He said incidents like this should show just how important mental health is.
We don’t know why the student attempted to take his own life. We spoke with the PSJA school district. They said they are providing a counseling crisis team to speak with any students who feel they need professional help after the incident.