As of now, I am aware of six different situations where a student or young adult tried to harm themselves due to a variety of social emotional issues. These are symptoms of significant need within our community of children and young adults.
I want to encourage you to make extra effort to check in with your child this weekend. Many times, our kids are struggling with pressures that we may be unaware of. I know our lives are busy, but our kids are well worth some time to check in. Simply asking, “How are you doing?” “How are things with your friends?” “Is there anything I as a parent can do to help you?” These conversations can go a long way to opening dialogue with our kids.
On Thursday, May 11, our community is sponsoring a Suicide Prevention Summit from 5:00-8:00 at Miller Middle School (2608 Junction Street in Durango). This is an opportunity to learn about suicide prevention resources for all ages and connect with community members to create a locally-based support system for those in need. This event has been in development since January when we began this broader conversation about the issue of loss within our community.
I know this topic makes many uncomfortable. Please know that while we continue to empower you to frame these conversations based on your own beliefs and values, your children are engaged in conversations with peers. Avoiding the conversation in no way shelters them from the topic. As a father of five children, I continually want to ensure that my children feel open lines of communication exist between us, their parents. I know all of us want the same for our children. This is an important time to reflect on that and take extra steps to ensure that we are successful.
Please know that there are many resources in our community to help and support adults and children. If your child or someone close to you is in crisis, please utilize the resources below:
• Axis Health System: 24-hour crisis hotline at (970) 247-5245
• National Suicide Prevention hotline: (800) 273-TALK (8255) RED Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio: (888) 628-9454
• National Crisis text Hotline: 741741
• Boys Town Hotline: (800) 448-3000
• Safe2Tell Colorado: (877) 542-7233
• Colorado Crisis Services Support Line: (844) 493-8255
• Trevor Project: (866) 488-7386. This is a crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth.
• Second Wind Fund: (720) 962-0706. This is not a crisis hotline, but the fund is available to youth who face social or financial barriers to crisis counseling. By referral.