Fourth Student in MISD Commits Suicide Over the Weekend - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

Fourth Student in MISD Commits Suicide Over the Weekend

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By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Another heartbreaking tragedy in Midland. Students and staff are mourning after another student committed suicide over the weekend.

It's an issue the district has been dealing with since November.

Hugs and tears filled this high school campus on Monday morning.

Students came together at the flagpole to remember their friend, a life gone too soon.

Over the weekend, a junior at Lee High School took his own life. This is the fourth suicide the district has dealt with.

"It always bothers us when we know that there was someone we didn't get called on or weren't able to talk to or didn't get to at least try to help them," Mike Naylor said.

Naylor is a senior officer in the mental health unit at the Midland County Sheriff's Office.

He's also a part of the newly formed Permian Basin Suicide Coalition.

"We definitely wanna get some education out there to make sure that when someone is making these suicidal outcries that they're actually being heard," Naylor said.

Superintendent Dr. Ryder Warren first called a press conference in December, right after three students took their lives.

Since then, Naylor said they've seen an increase in their line of work.

"I think they've made an awareness to kids and some of the kids, when they're hearing it from a friend now, they're notifying somebody," Naylor said.

Counselor Sarah Rock at the Samaritan Counseling Center of West Texas said teens face a lot of pressure.

"They're in between being a child and an adult," Rock said. "They're already at an increased risk of feeling isolated or feeling abnormal so when they face those situations, it can increase that and make it more difficult for them."

Suicide is the leading cause of death for people ages 15-24.

Both say education and awareness is key to fighting this battle, and although that may be a risk factor, Rock said it's something that needs to be addressed.

"We wanna be careful to not ignore the problem because that won't help but rather focus on what options there are to help someone and give them hope amidst the crisis," Rock said.

And just as important is speaking up.

"Ask them if they're hurting, ask them if they've considered hurting themselves and even if they say no ask them if they've considered hurting themselves in the past because that may be more comfortable to admit," Rock said.

"Get someone to at least talk with that person," Naylor said. "That way maybe we can get that person help before its too late."