Suicide Is Not a Way Out
Jimmy McCormick is an active eleventh grader at Columbus High
School. He seems to have everything going for him. His teachers praise him for his
academic excellence; his soccer coach challenges him to reach his full potential on the
field; his peers have distinguished Jimmy as an officer of the Student Government
Association; and his family continually supports him in his preparation to become a third
generation "Harvard man."
Lately, Jimmy has been sluggish on the soccer field. His teachers have also noticed a steady decline in grades and with his attentiveness in class. Unaware that Jimmy had recently turned to alcohol and other drug use to meet these pressures, his friends were puzzled by his mood swings, his lack of motivation, and his constant desire to isolate from his team mates and friends.
On this particular day, Jimmy stood before his American History class ready to give his assigned presentation on Abraham Lincoln. As he was describing Lincolns assassination, Jimmy extracted a gun from his jacket pocket, pointed it to his right temple, and fired a single shot. The teacher stood in shock as Jimmys body fell to the floor. Stunned by this unexpected behavior, students ran from the classroom crying and screaming.
1. Explain the contributing relationship of alcohol to suicide.
2. As a concerned Columbus High parent, what recommendations might you make to the
principal to reduce the likelihood of the "contagion effect" following Jimmy's suicide?
3. What are some of the factors which placed Jimmy at risk for suicide? What warning signs
did Jimmy exhibit?
4. Discuss the relationship between teen depression and suicide.
Internet links : Information from the following five links will assist you in responding to the above questions.
Alcohol, firearms, and suicide in youth
Suicide Warning Signs
AFSP: For the Media: Recommendations
Page developed by Stephanie Zgraggen as part of her honor's project in school health