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Winnipeg school mourns deaths of two students

WINNIPEG — More than 1000 students at Garden City Collegiate wore black Wednesday to honour two students who took their own lives.

On Friday students learned a Grade 12 student died by suicide, then days later so did her boyfriend.

“I think the whole school feels like it was punched in the gut,” said Brian O’Leary, the Superintendent of Seven Oaks School Division. “These are young people in their prime, full of promise and full of life.”

An online petition pushing for more mental health awareness in schools already had more than 1200 signatures in its first 24 hours and can be viewed here.

After car accidents, suicide is the second leading cause of death in youth. Stigma surrounding mental health issues is fading, but not fast enough.

“There is still a lot of fear and misunderstanding,” said Nicole Chammartin, the Executive Director of Klinic Community Health Centre.

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While its painful to talk about the loss of two gone so soon, mental health experts say simply talking to those hurting can make all the difference.

“Don’t slough off people’s concerns or tell them you know you have all these reasons not to do that or that’s silly,” Chammartin said. “It’s really important to hear what people are saying and engage in the discussions.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts here are some resources:

WATCH: Mental health expert talks best protocol to give support to those contemplating taking their life

 

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