Children & Suicide - Helping a Community Heal

Last Updated by Kate Spears on
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for 15 - 24 year olds.
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When a child commits suicide, the family, the school system, and the community are rocked to their very cores. The events of the last few weeks in our small town have left many questions unanswered.  

Where do you go to find help if you or someone you love is depressed or having suicidal thoughts or actions? 


If you are reading this and you or someone you know is suffering, please reach out for help. 

For a special edition of the WCTE Get Ready to Learn radio show, host Cindy Putman talked with three people who are sharing the work they are doing to help heal families in pain. 

Mike Seal very bravely shared the story of his son’s suicide. Even after five years, the pain of losing Daniel to his own hand is devastating. The Seal family sought counseling from the Heart the Cumberland. 

Donna Francis, director of Heart of the Cumberland, reminded our listeners that grief is a journey. You do not simply wake up one day and forget that your loved one is no longer here. Everything in your life is a constant reminder of the person you loved and the void that you feel in their absence. 

Heart of the Cumberland Has many programs to help families that are dealing with the effects of suicide or grief due to death or divorce.  Paula King, a grief interventionist with the Putnam County School System shared that children are facing great challenges today due to proliferation of social media. Francis reminded us that words have a tremendous impact on young children, especially girls. 

Parents may feel unequipped to help their children and loved ones, but help is available. You don’t have to confront this challenge alone.

PBS Parents has a collection of articles that help parents navigate through different stages of child development. The Putnam County School System has PEP talks for parents to help them tackle the complex issues their children face every day. The Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network hotline is available 24/7 with counselors to discuss any issue. Please do not suffer in silence or shame. Reach Out and get help. 

Are you dealing with thoughts of suicide? Maybe you're worried about someone you love. Don't wait to call and get help.


Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Your call will be routed to the nearest crisis center to you.

Click here for a pdf of a brochure with helpful information from the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network.

Visit Heart of the Cumberland on Facebook to join the conversation about this topic in our community.

Click here to see an example of some of the programs offered by the Putnam County School System PEP Talks.

Tune in each Saturday morning at 9:30 for the WCTE Get Ready To Learn Radio Show, with host Cindy Putman on Zimmer Broadcasting's The HUB 107.7 FM and 1400 AM. 


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WCTE’s Educational Team can customize workshops or professional development trainings for your group or organization. For workshop information, or to inquire about scheduling a workshop, call 921-528-2222 x. 227 or email us.

Topics are listed below:

  • Using Media as a learning tool
  • Using PBS kids apps to extend learning
  • How to be your child’s first teacher
  • Sesame Street Workshops
  • How does poverty effect a child’s brain
  • Literacy and Math
  • Brain Development

Workshops can be conducted in English and Spanish.