Couple shares their grief in talking with students about suicide

SHERBURNE – Dale and Dar Emme talked about the most painful experience in their lives – their youngest son’s suicide – to Sherburne-Earlville students Tuesday. Dale and Dar travel all over the United States and Canada, speaking to teens about suicide. They have been featured in People Magazine, “Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul,” and have appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show. The Emmes are visiting several schools in Chenango County this week to discuss the issue of teen suicide.

“We’re lucky to have them here,” said Lewis Ford of DCMO BOCES. Ford said student response to the Emmes story has been amazing. “The students are unbelievably attentive. [The Emmes] are powerful speakers.” According to Ford, the students respond well to the couple’s program because they don’t approach the topic of suicide from a clinical perspective, but from a personal one.

The S-E auditorium was silent as Dar explained suicide is the third leading cause of death among teenagers in the United States. “Adults don’t talk about suicide,” Dar told the students, “because they don’t know how.” The Emmes are dedicated to teaching teens how to deal with their emotions, and how to help friends who may be contemplating suicide. “Your voices matter. You can make a difference,” Dar said. She wants teens to know that suicide is about pain, and it is OK to ask for help.

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