Olathe parents and district encourage open discussion on suicide after two students take their lives

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OLATHE, Kan. -- The Olathe School District says counselors, social workers, and school psychologists are prepared to help any student who is struggling with the recent deaths of two students from Olathe Northwest, who took their lives two days apart.

To respect the families' privacy, FOX 4 is not releasing the names of the students.

Both of the students are girls and members of the same soccer team.

One student died on Friday night, the other on Sunday.

A candlelight vigil is set to take place Tuesday night at Grace United Methodist Church in Olathe. The vigil will be held in the church's Celebration Center from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

"When she worked with us, she always had the nicest things to say, and she was loved by everybody," said Bill Ridgeway, Jose Peppers general manager, where one of the girls worked. "Very, very sweet. She was a host for us and just did an outstanding job."

Click here to read the letter from Gwen Poss, principal at Olathe Northwest High School, to families about the deaths and the need to help other students struggling with similar thoughts and grieving their classmates.

"Getting help for the child is key. If they don't do that, the kid may act on their depression," said Martye Barnard, University of Kansas Hospital's Chief of Behavioral Pediatrics.

Click here for FOX 4's You Matter resources.

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