3 Newton teens have committed suicide since October
NEWTON, Mass. — A steady stream of mourners came to Roee Grutman’s home Tuesday where signs posted in the snow honor the 17-year-old. Grutman, a junior at Newton South High School, is described as smart and well liked.
Last week Grutman took his own life, the third Newton teen to do so since October.
“It’s like a nightmare that rears its ugly head again,” said Lila McCain, whose daughter Karen Douglas killed herself in October. “No parent should have to lose a child this way or any way.”
Douglas, a Newton North senior died within two weeks of Katie Stack, a Newton South sophomore.
“It’s so tragic and we can’t prevent every suicide but we can do a better job and a better job means knowing the signs to think about and to look for and having the courage and the language to talk to our kids. That’s what it’s really about,” said Jon Mattleman, director of Youth Services in Needham.
That community also struggled with a string of five suicides from 2004 to 2007.
“It is a problem. If you look at the MetroWest survey of adolescents, approximately 10 percent of MetroWest youths are seriously considering suicide,” said Mattleman. “It is a crisis and we really have to call it that to mobilize support.”
Newton’s superintendent has initiated a signs of suicide program in the schools.
“It’s not just a school issue,” said David Fleishman. “It’s a community issue.”
McCain has launched an online campaign called Get Real Campaign.
“We want people to not Photoshop their lives, and to just be OK with their imperfections and if they need to get help to seek that help,” McCain said.