The Columbia school district notified parents Thursday that a Columbia High School student died that day.
The student was identified as Hope Alexis Campos.
“Our thoughts and sympathies are with her family,” the district said in a statement, adding that the cause of death was suicide.
“Suicide is a very complicated act,” the district’s statement said. “Although we may never know why Hope Alexis ended her life, we know that suicide has multiple causes. It’s really important if you or your child is not feeling well in any way to reach out for help. Suicide should not be an option.”
Teachers and school counselors told CHS students the news Thursday afternoon.
Members of the district’s crisis response team are available to meet with students individually or in groups over the coming days and weeks.
Columbia parents can contact the school office if they feel their child is in need of additional assistance.
According to The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, warning signs of suicide include talking about wanting to die, looking for a way to kill oneself, talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose, talking about feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain, talking about being a burden to others, increasing the use of alcohol or drugs, acting anxious, agitated or reckless, sleeping too little or too much, withdrawing or feeling isolated, showing rage or taking about seeking revenge and displaying extreme mood swings.
“The more of these signs a person shows, the greater the risk,” the lifeline states. “Warning signs are associated with suicide but may not be what causes a suicide.”
The lifeline is a free, 24/7 service that can provide suicidal people or those around them with support, information and local resources. It can be reached at 800-273-8255.
If someone you know exhibits warning sides of suicide, the lifeline recommends you do not leave that person alone, remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt, call the lifeline or take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.
A memorial service will be held 2-4 p.m. Jan. 19 at Braun Family Funeral Home, 265 Quarry Road, Columbia.
Funeral services will begin at 4 p.m. with Pastor Duane Willeford officiating.
To read Hope’s full obituary, click here.
“If your child wishes to attend, we strongly encourage you to accompany him or her to the service,” the district told parents. “If the funeral is scheduled during school hours, students who wish to attend will need parental permission to be released from school.”
Any Columbia students or parents with questions or concerns are also encouraged to contact the district’s mental health professionals or principals.