Suicide is the leading cause of death for youth ages 10 to 17 in Colorado. In El Paso County, which includes the City of Colorado Springs, deaths by suicide among youth under the age of 18 increased in recent years, from seven deaths in 2014 to 15 in 2016 and 13 in 2017.
Taking Community Action: Youth Suicide Prevention Workgroup
Convened by our agency since 2015, the Youth Suicide Prevention (YSP) Workgroup works with community partners to take collective action to support youth mental health, well-being and suicide prevention. Since its inception in 2015, the YSP Workgroup has had over 90 partner agencies, community members and parents contribute to this community work.
Through collaboration within our diverse communities, we equip and support youth in all stages in their social and emotional growth to increase resiliency and reduce suicide.
- Identify community needs and assets
- Improve community networking and partnerships
- Develop an action plan for comprehensive, community-driven strategies to prevent youth suicide
Suicide prevention is everyone's business and everyone is welcome at the table.
- No experience is necessary
- Members are asked to attend meetings, share your ideas, and take action in an area that meets your interest
- Members will benefit from free training and workshops, networking, and alignment with other community resources
For more information on the Youth Suicide Prevention Workgroup or to get involved, please contact:
Brittany Riffle, MSW
Youth Resilience and Suicide Prevention Planner
El Paso County Public Health
Suicide Prevention Is Everyone's Business
No single intervention or prevention program can prevent all suicides. Suicide is most effectively prevented by a comprehensive approach through implementation of programs across all ages and settings. Suicide prevention is everyone's business.
What are the warning signs of suicide?
If you are concerned about someone, ask yourself the following questions. Have they shown or shared any of the following:
- Talking about wanting to die, be dead, or about suicide, or are they cutting or burning themselves?
- Feeling like things may never get better, seeming like they are in terrible emotional pain (like something is wrong deep inside but they can't make it go away), or they are struggling to deal with a big loss in their life?
- Or is your gut telling you to be worried because they have withdrawn from everyone and everything, have become more anxious or on edge, seem unusually angry, or just don't seem normal to you?
How can you respond?
If you notice any of these warning signs in anyone, you can help!
- Ask if they are okay or if they are having thoughts about suicide
- Express your concern about what you are observing in their behavior
- Listen closely and do not judge
- Reflect what they share and let them know they have been heard
- Tell them they are not alone
- Let them know there are resources available that can help
- If you or they are concerned, guide them to additional professional help
For someone with an immediate life-threatening emergency, dial 9-1-1 for assistance.
- Crisis Services
- Colorado Crisis Services Hotline: Get connected to a crisis counselor or trained professional 24//7 who will assess risk and determine if a mobile response is necessary.
- Call 1-844-493-8255, or text "TALK" to 38255
- Crisis Stabilization Units
- There is a crisis stabilization unit in Colorado Springs where individuals may receive immediate help at no charge 24/7.
- 719-299-2996, 115 S. Parkside Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80909-6071
- Protect Our Youth From Suicide - Written By Local Parents For All Parents
- Protegiendo a Los Jóvenes Del Suicidio - Escrito Por Padres Locales Para Todos Los Padres
- Protect Our Youth From Suicide - Written By Local Parents For All Parents - Children's Hospital Colorado Collaboration
- Recommendations for reporting on suicide: Guidelines for Journalists
- Mental Health First Aid/Youth Mental Health First Aid
- Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)
- Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR)
- Pikes Peak Library District: Tough Topics
State & National Resources
- Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Office of Suicide Prevention
- Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Youth and Young Adult Suicide Prevention
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- Colorado Crisis Services
- Below the Surface
- Partners in Children’s Mental Health