independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Schools warned on handling tragedies

SCHOOLS must tread carefully to prevent vulnerable young people from seeking attention through suicide, according to a guidance counsellor.

Catherine Flanagan, a guidance counsellor at the Mount Sackville secondary school in Chapelizod, west Dublin, said she was concerned about the recent phenomenon of young people being "eulogised" and hailed as heroes on social-networking sites and other media after taking their own lives.

Ms Flanagan said such tragedies warranted compassion and sympathy, but she warned: "If you're a vulnerable student or feeling depressed, you could think, 'maybe everybody would give me that praise and attention.'"

She said young peers of suicide victims should be given supports and education, instead of being encouraged to lavish praise on the deceased.

Irish Independent

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