Teen Suicides Shatter Nantucket Serenity

The paranoia over the epidemic in Bridgend is so significant that an anti-suicide squad took a "Don't do it" message to the streets. A memorial Web site chose to remove tribute pages set up to honor the young people who killed themselves out of fear that they may be celebrating the deaths and potentially adding to the cluster.

After the Needham, Mass., incidents, local officials formed a suicide prevention coalition that organized grief counseling sessions for students, parents and faculty, and offered weekly counseling services to 50 students who were considered at-risk for depression.

It's a model that Nantucket, located 30 miles off the Massachusetts coast, could look to for guidance.

Parents More Attentive

While each suicide has its own set of circumstances, parents of teens who killed themselves in Nantucket and South Wales have cited isolation as a possible motivator.

On Nantucket, where a summer population topping 55,000 drops to just 10,000 and teens are literally locked in by the ocean, the Boys & Girls Club has extended its hours to accommodate students who may be reeling from a long, hard winter.

McInerney's mother Phyllis McInerney, the club's executive director, described the remarkable resilience of Nantucket students coping with the string of deaths.

"The students are talking about it a lot," she said. "They're kind of mad. There's a lot of anger, but I think that anger is being vented."

Katie McInerney acknowledged a heightened sense of awareness among parents, but she knows that moving forward in the grieving process is going to take time. "Not a day goes by when in my mind I don't think about Will and Kate and Vaughn," she said.

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