Richland School District Officials confirmed a report we received that a Hanford High School freshman died by suicide Sunday.

The student's name was released, 9th grader Emma Wenz. According to the release, via RSD Communications Director Ty Beaver,  "she lost her years-long battle with mental illness Sunday after taking her own life. "

The full letter sent out to students and families via email from Principal Tory Christensen is reprinted below. The email was accompanied by support information for HHS students from counselors, and other support resources.

Dear Parents/Guardians:
We are saddened to inform you of the recent loss of Hanford High School 9th grader Emma Wenz.  The family shared that despite the family’s effort to save Emma, she lost her years-long battle with mental illness Sunday after taking her own life.  We extend our sympathy and support to the Wenz family and friends. 
Counselors will be available to work with students to assist in the grieving process.  Hanford High School will have counselors on site in the library to assist grieving students.  Counselors will available beginning at 10:30am and again tomorrow starting at 8:30am.  Students must fill out an attestation form and have their temperature under 100.4°F.  Please see the attached forms for safety guidelines.  Other options for grieving students are logging into a zoom meeting with one of our district counselors in a breakout room.  Finally, students can schedule a home visit with a team of RSD counselors.  Please call our main office at 967-6500 to schedule this event. 
Our thoughts are with each of you during this difficult time.  Students who may not have known Emma may be experiencing grief as well due to their own personal experiences and feelings.  Please remember people grieve in different ways and in stages.  Many are helped in expressing their thoughts and feelings by sympathetic discussion with a trusted adult; some may choose not to talk about it at all.    You will find ideas that may assist you in working with your own child on the links below. 
Resources for Parents:
FACTS – Warning Signs of Suicide:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255
Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor
Benton Franklin Crisis Response Center: (509) 783-0500
If you need more assistance or have questions, please contact the school.
Tory Christensen
Principal, Hanford High School

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