Signs of Hope at W.F. West: Community and School Staff Seek to Support Students After Suicides


W.F. West High School students going to school this month should expect to see parents gathered around the student drop-off area holding signs, not in protest, but to offer words of encouragement to a student body reeling from two recent student suicides.

Groups of parents intend to stand outside the school with their messages of support every school morning in October.

“I just think words of encouragement and a lot of love is what our student body needs right now,” said April Cole, the mother of a W.F. West sophomore. Cole decided to join the sign-holders after seeing another parent holding a sign while she was driving her student to school last week.

She posted a thank-you to that “mystery mom” on her Facebook page and it wasn’t long before other parents decided to join in.

“I hope this inspires more people, I really do, because I think the kids need a lot of encouragement and kind words right now. There’s so much happening in this world that they need this,” Cole said.

Others in the community are also working to support students and their families who are struggling with the recent deaths. Bethel Church in Chehalis hosted a suicide awareness and prevention night for teens and parents last week to view the 2016 documentary “Not Alone,” a film that explores mental health and suicide attempts amongst teenagers. The event also aimed to connect community members to mental health resources.

One local educator, Tammy Lund, led a prayer walk around W.F. West Saturday morning.

“We’re going to just go and we are going to pray so that this community knows that we are here and that we love them and most importantly that God loves them,” said Lund in a Facebook Live video on her way to the walk.

Neighboring Centralia High School sent out letters with information on mental health resources to its student body last week.

“Our hearts go out to the Chehalis School District and those families and those staff and students,” said Centralia School District Superintendent Lisa Grant during a monthly virtual Q&A with Centralia parents. “If you see a concern in your child or have a question, please reach out to your child’s school counselor and they will help connect you to resources.”

School administrators encourage parents to talk to their children about mental health issues, even younger children.

“From a perspective of elementary students, it's perfectly OK to talk as parents with them about their emotional wellbeing and to ask some very direct questions, as uncomfortable as those are,” said Fords Prairie Elementary Principal David Roberts.

He added that most times, just asking “how are you doing” isn’t as productive as being direct about your concerns.

“Kids are really filled with no nonsense and I think the more forthright we can be in our conversations, they’re more sophisticated in many ways than we ever were growing up, and trust that they’ll answer you and give them plenty of opportunity to do,” he said.



• National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255 or

• Veterans Crisis Line: 800-273-8255 or text to 838255 or visit

• Lifeline Crisis Chat:

• Crisis Text Line: 741741 or

• Lewis County 24-hour Crisis Line: 800-803-8833 or 360-807-2440

• NAMI Information Line: 800-950-6264, or visit to connect with the local chapter

• Cascade Community Healthcare: 360-807-2440 or

• A full list of behavioral health agencies in Washington, broken out by county, is available online at




12 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here

Just goes to show how far reaching the selfishness of Boomers. The Boomers who run this country are so scared for their own lives, they have no worries about the harm they are placing on the youth. As long as Boomers are safe and sound then all else doesn’t matter. Many such cases. Our nation will be better off without Boomers draining our resources and enforcing fascist mandates under the guise of “science”.

Tuesday, October 12
Ghost of King Chuck

Mel-Brooks is a moron. He doesn't even know what a boomer is. He'd would demand his dentist not use a mask and wash his hands.

He's the first in line to demand the end of mandatory vaccinations for school children.

He's demanding a return of measles and epidemics... cause 'freedom'.

We would be better off without Trump supporters. They are inherently EVIL as a fact.

Tuesday, October 12
Blazing Saddles

@Ghost of King Chuck

Looks like we found the Boomer!

Enjoy being old!!

Tuesday, October 12
Thalia Melpomene


My you are ignorant. Boomers are people born after WWII. There was a huge surge in pregnancies once all the soldiers got home, and that generation has since been called the Baby Boomers.

Dentists didn't used to wear masks. They wear them to protect THEMSELVES, as I do.

Trump was vaccinated last January, or didn't Rachel Madcow tell anybody about that?

She also didn't explain to you the difference between measles and mumps vaccines vs covid vaccine, did she.

If you are all about saving lives, then you should accept a mandate of sterilization for all men and women who abort a child. And maybe even mandated birth control for anybody who doesn't have a job.

Just sayin'

Meanwhile, back at the school, how about a mandate that anybody under 18 can't use social media. Suckerbird has always been a creepy dork, and you have all made a trillion dollar company that causes suicides. Facebook was an idea stolen from his roommate, and it was originally about rating all the women on Stanford's campus for their looks. Never used it, never will, and don't patronize businesses that do. Government entities should not be using it, and should create their own websites.

Tuesday, October 12
Bradd Reynolds


Since you hide behind a fake name, and spew such hate and ignorance it is hard to have an intelligent conversation with you.

A entire generation of us so called boomers did not create the problem you describe. Yes in sure many of the problems we are dealing with were contributed to by people who happen to be in that age group.

Your hate and ignorance does nothing to contribute to the healing of families devastated by these two suicides, or any suicides.

Nor does it offer any solutions to addressing future suicides.

So what's your point? To hear yourself talk? To impress people?

Our young people need support. Need guidance. Need understanding. . They need to know who they can turn to when the lights start to flicker in the back of their mind.

How can you use this platform to attack an entire group of people based on the year they were born? When do many people are hurting.

Do you realize that those two students most likely have boomers in their family, boomers who teach and coach them at school? Boomers who love and care about them and are hurt to the deepest core of their heart by this loss?

Do you even care? You most certainly dint seem to.

I'm not hiding behind a fake name. And I welcome you to call me if you would like to have a grown up conversation. As long as you are civil I'll be happy to talk with you over coffee.

Feel free to call. 748.9655

In the mean time, let's show some respect for the people who are hurting. Some appreciation for those trying to show the kids they are not alone.

Wednesday, October 13
Blazing Saddles

@Bradd Reynolds

Who is in charge of our governments both local and federal? Boomers. Who makes the decisions that are negatively impacting the youth so much, that have disrupted their lives so much they want out? Boomers. I’m sorry you are so hurt and emotional over your culpability in the matter, but you sound like a boomer so I’ll cut you some slack, because mental decline is tough because it’s hard to catch. Keep laying out that emotional argument, that will always pay dividends with women. Boomers are soft.

Wednesday, October 13

Firstly, my sincere condolences to all who were affected by these recent tragedies. Secondly, some of these comments above serve no one. Have a heart and try to use your brain.

5 days ago
Jesus was Melaoto

Mel Brooks is 100% correct. Atheist boomers are so scared to die. Traumatized kids with lock downs and masks. Social isolation. No masks, no gene therapy for my family, but I'm 100% in favor of boomers getting all the boosters everyday. A booster a day. They are so safe why not? They're so effective. Effective at what? So effective that you need more of the same shots that weren't working in the 1st place. Make sense.

5 days ago
Jesus was Melaoto

"Everyone who I disagree with is an evil Trump supporter".

"Spew hate and ignorance".

The truth IS hate to leftist atheist boomers.

We don't "hate" the boomer. Just pointing out obvious truths about the conduct of not all, not all, but most of a generation.

Trump is a Big Pharma shill. Biden poops his pants. Stop blaming politicians for your own problems.

5 days ago
Concerned Citizen

I believe that Boomers are the most selfish and infantile generation since America was founded. They had it better than their parents and because of their decisions as stakeholders in our democracy, will have it better than their children. It’s too bad, Boomers had it all and squandered it away via terrible social programs like Social Security and now our Longterm Care Tax but also due to terrible foreign trade deals and ‘diplomacy’. The Boomers have sold away our nation’s soul for a quick buck because they are selfish and short sighted. Do the smallest bit of research and you will come to the same conclusion. When Boomers are finally gone, so too will be the Social Security, Medicaid and other socialist strongholds because they failed to see how their decisions on our soil and across our borders would impact our nation in the future. Covid and the over reaction and doubling down being seen today is just another symptom of the worst generation to ever grace our amazing nation.

5 days ago
Troy N. Houghtaling, Sr.

At what point does something become sensitive . No real story was ever done on these students and why they took their lives. But stories are done on drownings, car accident deaths, cops being shot. At what point does something become sensitive. At what point does ones felling our put a side for a story. I believe we as parents, tax payers have the right to know why it happened. Not asking for names just why, when and how. If it involves someone that is being protected. Rumors are flying around from bullying to drugs. We have the right to know......

5 days ago

NAMI Lewis County is the local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. We offer a free 50 minute presentation called ENDING THE SILENCE. This presentation for middle and high school students helps raise awareness and change perceptions around mental health conditions. Contact us at for more information.

3 days ago