Sunday, March 18, 2007

Student's Suicide Confession Lands Her In Mental Clinic

WESH NBC Channel 2
Central Florida News

Student's Suicide Confession Lands Her In Mental Clinic

POSTED: 9:55 am EST February 27, 2007

APOPKA, Fla. -- An Orange County father is furious after school officials sent his daughter to a mental health clinic.

Jenny Helmick, a student at Wolf Lake Middle School, went to a guidance counselor and ended up spending the night at Lakeside Alternatives, WESH 2 News reported.

Her father, Paul Helmick, said the situation started with a movie about suicide prevention. The movie is part of a district-wide program that teaches students to ACT; Acknowledge, Care and Tell if they or a friend shows warning signs of depression or suicide.

Helmick said he believes the school's student resource officer acted way out of line by invoking the Baker Act, which allows law enforcement to take someone in for emergency evaluation.

Although she can forget her troubles when riding her go-cart around the family farm, Helmick said she'll always remember how she ended up at Lakeside Alternatives, by admitting she had once thought about suicide.

"I was pretty honest and I guess honesty can get you to a good place and get you in a bad place and at this point I think it's really messed my life up at this point so far," Helmick said.

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