Our CVCHS family is grief-stricken with the passing of sophomore Wyatt Bredell. The incredible sorrow, shock, and confusion experienced by students and staff alike is a challenge that has brought to the forefront of our attention the emotional difficulties our students encounter as part of life. The impact this teenager's life and death has had upon our community is truly remarkable. The love and friendship so many students lost has been heart-wrenching as you could witness all across campus last Friday. Tears, pain and sorrow filled our hallways and classrooms. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Wyatt's parents and family. Words cannot even begin to convey our heartfelt sorrow for their loss and pain.
I want to commend our teachers and staff - especially those who knew Wyatt so well. In their own grief, they were able to focus upon our student's needs, help them process the tragedy, and facilitate healing. Our psychologist, Katelyn James, demonstrated remarkable skill facilitating our counseling staff in supporting students in their grief and guiding our crisis center.
Teen depression seems to be a national epidemic. Every teen at some point in their life will encounter challenges, loss, significant problems that are difficult. When I review all of the potential obstacles students face, it can be daunting: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), eating disorders, family discord and divorce, illness and death of loved ones, loved ones serving in the military who are sent overseas to war, academic pressures to excel and gain admissions to the premier universities, falling in love and breaking up...the list goes on. Being a teen in today's multi-media world where every friend's problems are known and felt virtually in a moment's notice is truly a challenge. Being the parent of that teen is a life filled with ups and downs, opportunities and challenges. "And there is no perfect parent - just survivors!" as one friend told me.
With the recent passing of comedian Robin Williams due to suicide, there has been much attention focused upon the mental health condition of depression. We must help friends and family to understand that there is help for depression. When encountering life's struggles to the point of significant or debilitating depression, we must seek help from professionals. Let us encourage those who are suffering with depression to go and get the assistance needed to overcome the toughest of times. And most importantly, give your kids a great big hug today.
In Your Service,