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DENVER —  Safe2Tell received a record number of tips during the 2018-2019 school year. The tip line received nearly 20,000 actionable tips — a 28-percent jump from the previous school year.

READ: Full report from Safe2Tell

With a new school year starting, the FOX31 Problem Solvers talked to Essi Ellis, who has been the director of Safe2Tell since April.

Ellis says the increase is not a bad thing; she says it means the program is working.

“The increase in the number of alerts to Safe2Tell is really an expression of students being empowered to speak up and express concerns that they have for themselves and their friends,” Ellis said.

While school attacks — the original reason for the Safe2Tell program — are top-of-mind for many, Safe2Tell has now become a resource for students to report any safety hazards. Data from the 2018-2019 school year shows suicide was the category that received the most calls.

“It tell us that, just like adults, students and youth are struggling to cope with their day-to-day needs. And so they need an outlet to try to help get some early intervention and resources and possibly counseling,” Ellis said. “It comes down to students really taking ownership and empowering themselves to speak up and say something.”

While Ellis couldn’t discuss details, she says there is proof the system has prevented a potential tragedy.

As always, Safe2Tell is anonymous. Tips can be submitted by calling 1-877-542-7233 or through the program’s website.