Cherry Creek High School community meets to discuss preventing student suicides

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GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. -- After two recent student suicides, the Cherry Creek High School community is working to prevent it from happening again.

Two of the students were enrolled at CCHS; the third was at St. Mary's Academy in Cherry Hills Village but had grown up in the Cherry Creek School District.

On Monday, community members met to discuss what has become a public health issue.

University of Colorado Denver School of Psychology associate professor Franci Crepeau-Hobson spoke about the problem. She also offered ideas on how to prevent more deaths.

"We all have a role to play in suicide prevention, and if we work together and are on top of things, we can prevent suicide. But we have to first acknowledge this is a big problem," Crepeau-Hobson said.

Parents, she says, must be aware of warning signs and take them seriously. She encouraged parents to ask kids about problems they may be having.

Parent Michelle Duke said that kids need to know that winning everything all the time is not that important.

"Making sure they are enjoying themselves and not so much on the outcomes," Duke said of students.

While teen suicides are a problem across the U.S., the occur in Colorado at nearly twice the national average.

Crepeau-Hobson stressed that resources are always available. A number of well-known ones are listed below.

Suicide resources

If you or anyone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or depression, the following resources are available:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255): Speak with someone who will provide free and confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To learn how to help someone in crisis, call the same number.

Colorado Crisis Services Hotline (1-844-493-8255): If you are in crisis or need help dealing with one, call 1-844-493-8255 or text “TALK” to 38255 to speak to a trained professional. When calling Colorado Crisis Services, you will be connected to a crisis counselor or trained professional with a master’s or doctoral degree.

The Trevor Project (1-866-488-7386): A 24/7 resource for LGBT youth struggling with a crisis or suicidal thoughts. The line is staffed by trained counselors.

Colorado Crisis Services Walk-In Locations: Walk-in crisis service centers are open 24/7, and offer confidential, in-person crisis support, information and referrals to anyone in need.

Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline: (1-844-264-5437): The best resource for readers to report suspected child abuse and neglect.

The number serves as a direct, immediate and efficient route to all of Colorado’s 64 counties and two tribal nations, which are responsible for accepting and responding to child abuse and neglect concerns. All callers are able to speak with a call taker 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

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