Lot’s of parents struggle with how to approach youth suicide when it rocks a community. Bill Chase is a longtime counselor in the Grand Forks School District and South Middle School, he joined us to talk about some basic advice for parents as they attempt to broach such a delicate subject.
Bill also recommended this website that contains guidance specifically for parents addressing the issue of suicide with their children.
South Middle School Counselor Bill Chase joined the program today to discuss suicide and counseling students about suicide and mental health issues.
Bill is always candid in his passion for open communication between parents and students, teachers and students and between students themselves because we all need to know someone cares “sometimes that’s all it takes” Chase stated. Mental health issues in general and suicide in particular are issues that most parents and children don’t enjoy discussing but are necessary to open the door for problem solving during life’s difficult times.
Not many people know that the song that is the climatic moment in the SPA play “Keep the Faith” — was co-written by Bill Chase. Yep… he co-wrote it. He discusses how it came to be in the summer of 1997 and his feelings on seeing it performed.
Chase makes interesting points as he discusses how young people have changed over the course of his time as a counselor, and how not allowing them to fail ultimately deprives them of the coping skills to overcome adversity often leaving them lost as they approach college or life on their own.
Bill also talks about the constant challenge of keeping hockey FUN in a city that places incredible emphasis on that sport… with kids playing or training twelve months a year… and with parents who have their own opinions of how things ought to work. No small challenge, yet he “enjoys it more than I ever have.”
All teams realized it at different times in a magical season, Central’s Boe Bjorge realized it during a game against Bismarck High — his team was special “When we were playing Bismarck High our first time after Christmas, we were down 5-3 with five minutes left in the third (period) we came back and won 6-5 with maybe a minute left. After that game, we knew that no matter what the situation was that we could fight back from whatever was thrown at us for the rest of the year.”
Grant Johnson spoke of his love of the Red River – Central rivalry and the hate that one feels on the ice. “The hatred between the two schools, there’s always a big crowd, just a lot of fun to play in. We don’t necessarily like each other on the ice but we can still be friends off the ice which makes for an even better competition.”
When Bismarck High closed the lead to 3-2 at the end of the second period Cam Olstad wasn’t too nervous, “I honestly wasn’t too nervous. I knew what our team could do, I knew we could battle back. After the second intermission we went up 4-2 and they barely got anything in the third (period).” “They gave us a tough game” Cam Johnson added “so credit them for not giving up.”
Toughest game of the season? By a 3-1 margin (includes Coach Paranica vote) a 4-3 win against Devils Lake. “The atmosphere was really crazy and I actually got kicked out of the game in the 3rd period for fighting too so I didn’t get to finish that game” said Johnson with a smile. ” “The student section was better than anybody else in the EDC other than ours, they got us a little rattled” chipped in Olstad.
Cam Olstad spoke of the time since they won the State Title on Saturday night, “it’s been an incredible experience getting all the text messages from parents and former teammates of mine have reached out and congratulated us for accomplishing what we did.”
Cam Johnson concluded “It was just a great season, i know that I definitely made friendships and memories that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. This season was really something special, something I’ll never forget and I hope I can stay in touch and stay friends with all the guys on this team.” Amen.
When asked about his team’s undefeated season, Grant Paranica, the Grand Forks Central Head Hockey Coach responded “nobody really talked about it. It really didn’t enter into the equation I know we certainly didn’t discuss it.”
“Our whole group was very competitive. I just think they had a little way about them, they approached things differently and they just happened to be the right set of circumstances to come together” Paranica said of his team and they way they went about their business.
He also spoke of a gritty team win in Detroit Lakes that defined the team, players were sick or coming off being sick and it was a struggle from the start. “We were down 5-3 and the guys just kept battling (and eventually won). We got back to Grand Forks and we talked about everything negative that happened, so the guys took that to heart and they played pretty well the rest of the season.”
In the State Championship game “seeing them play it out, even though we were up 7-2” was most gratifying thing for him as a Coach. Then came THE MOMENT.