Samaritans offer free advice on dealing with grief

Free advice has been issued for anyone affected by the death of two high school pupils who were hit by a train.

The tragic death of Hertswood Academy pupils Charleigh Disbrey, 15, and her 18-year-old boyfriend Mert Karaoglan has left their classmates and teachers devastated and shocked.

The teenage couple were hit by a train at Elstree & Borehamwood Station at 8.57pm on Monday evening.

Whilst the Thrift Farm Lane school is offering counselling to all those affected, people who need extra support are being encouraged to ring hotlines such as the Samaritans' for free confidential advice.

The charity is reminding people about the warning signs of depression in teenagers, and is calling on members of the public to be aware of the symptoms.

These can include sadness, anger, confusion, tearfulness, withdrawal, lack of enthusiasm and lack of appetite.

Some people may also have a difficulty in concentrating, feelings of worthlessness and guilt, a loss of interest in activities and changes in eating and sleeping habits.

Hertfordshire County Council has also echoed this warning and is urging anyone who is or knows someone who might be affected to speak to free charities.

Chris Hayward, cabinet member for education, said: “This is such a tragic case and our thoughts are with Charleigh and Mert’s families.

“Past experience shows reading about or being affected by suicide can trigger depression and suicidal thoughts.

“If parents, friends or teachers are concerned about anyone they know they should seek help promptly from their family doctor or helplines.”

The Samaritans’ can be contacted free of charge on 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 08457 90 90 90 or by their website on www.samaritans.org.

Charity Young Minds also features a helpline for worried parents, which can be reached on 0808 802 5544.

Anyone who is concerned about a grieving child can ring Winston’s Wish, the leading childhood bereavement charity, on 0845 20 304 05.

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