St. Charles College students and staff get mental health support following student's death
WARNING: This story discusses suicide and may be distressing to some readers:
A team of social workers, psychotherapists and mental health workers will be available to support students and staff at St. Charles College in Sudbury, Ont., following the death of student Ashton Desormeaux.
Ashton, 17, and his parents Brian Desormeaux, 46, Janet Desormeaux, 43, died in their Coniston home on Sunday in what Sudbury police have deemed a murder-suicide.
"This is an extremely tragic situation that has deeply impacted families, friends and the community," police said in a press release on Monday.
"Our deepest condolences go out to everyone who has been affected by this incident and we ask that you respect the privacy of the family's loved ones during this very emotional time."
Police have not released more details about their deaths.
Diane Zannier, the mental health lead with the Sudbury Catholic District School Board, said her team, along with chaplains and Indigenous support workers would be available to support the St. Charles community.
"Grief is something that everybody lives differently and in their own way," Zannier said.
She added mental health professionals with the school board can connect students and staff with resources like the crisis helpline, if they need that help.
Remembered by the arm wrestling community
Both Ashton and his father Brian were active in the city's arm wrestling community.
In a Facebook post from the Rock City Reapers arm wrestling club, member Rach Wade paid tribute to the family.
"Brian was not only an arm wrestler, but a friend, role model, teacher, promoter and like a dad to many of the younger pullers," Wade wrote.
"He had a tough looking exterior but was a truly nice guy underneath. He cared about his family and the sport of arm wrestling. He provided contacts for many of us to get jobs and supported anyone who asked or needed help."
If you or someone you know is struggling, here's where to get help:
- Talk Suicide Canada: 1-833-456-4566 (phone) | 45645 (text between 4 p.m. and midnight ET).
- Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 (phone), live chat counselling on the website.
- Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention: Find a 24-hour crisis centre.
- This guide from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health outlines how to talk about suicide with someone you're worried about.
With files from Kate Rutherford