Superintendent addresses recent student deaths

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ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. -- The Superintendent of Adams 12 shared a statement on Friday discussing the recent deaths of students within the Adams County School District.

"A number of families and schools within our community are grieving the sudden and painful loss of their children as we enter the final days of January. We have lost five children in our community over the past 40 days. They range in age from sixth grade to tenth grade and attended four different schools. The information we've received to date indicates that several of these deaths were by suicide," Superintendent Gdowski said.

FOX31's Rachel Skyatta spoke with Dr. Sarah Davidon, who is the Director of Research and Child and Adolescent Strategy at Mental Health Colorado.

Dr. Davidon says their goal is to encourage adults to talk with their kids about their feelings long before there is an indication of suicidal thoughts.

"We should be concerned but we should also be concerned where there aren’t suicides," Dr. Davidon says. "Suicides are the manifestation of a problem. And there are a lot of things we can do in schools and communities…when kids go to doctors offices that we can be doing more preventatively."

Dr. Davidon added that there is no single cause of suicide that they can point to, but there are some warning signs such as changes of sleep, changes in appetite, and physical appearance.

"If you pick up on signs of hopelessness or you’re hearing that your children are feeling trapped…it’s okay to ask directly if they’re having suicidal thoughts," she explains. "That’s not going to make them worse and it’s not going to plant a seed."

Additionally, Dr. Davidon says that a person dying by suicide does not mean that their parents missed any signs.

Colorado Crisis Services is a resource for anyone-- teens, families, etc.-- to get help before a tragedy like this.  You can call 1-844-493-8255 or text “TALK” to 38255.

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