• April 22nd, 2024
  • Monday, 10:12:29 AM

Colorado Announces New Resource to Prevent Youth Suicide


The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced a new partnership that will connect eligible youth who have experienced a suicidal crisis with licensed therapists. (Photo: Adobe Stock)

 

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced a new partnership between Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners and Second Wind Fund that will connect eligible youth who have experienced a suicidal crisis with licensed therapists. The initiative is an expansion of the existing Follow-Up Project, which has already provided more than 19,000 follow-up services to Coloradans since it began in 2018.

 

While the suicide rate for Colorado youth (ages 10-18) has remained statistically stable since 2016, Colorado continues to have among the highest rates of youth suicide in the country. This program will help young people struggling with suicidal despair overcome common barriers to care and connect with experienced, licensed mental health professionals.

 

“We are excited to fund and support this new referral pathway that will provide much-needed support for Colorado’s youth,” said Lena Heilmann, Office of Suicide Prevention director. “We look forward to growing this program over the next several years.”

 

As part of the Follow-Up Project, CDPHE’s Office of Suicide Prevention funds Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners to reach out to individuals who have recently been part of an inpatient program or had a visit to an emergency department for suicide risk. With the individual’s consent, Follow-Up specialists with Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners contact the person regularly within the 30 days after discharge—when the risk of a suicide attempt or death is highest—to offer support, set goals, and connect them to resources. The new partnership with Second Wind Fund will build on that support by connecting youth ages 19 and younger, who are at risk for suicide, to therapists.

 

“Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners is honored to be a part of this new initiative that will help us meet a critical need in our state,” said Melody Keown with Rocky Mountain Crisis Partner’s Follow-Up Project. “We believe there is no ‘wrong’ door to accessing care, and that pairing with Second Wind Fund creates a new entryway for those who may otherwise be excluded from mental health services.”

 

The Second Wind Fund is a Colorado-based organization that covers the cost of therapy for youth with barriers to care, including financial constraints, inadequate insurance coverage, and a lack of available providers in their area. After a young person is referred by the Follow-Up Project, Second Wind Fund will pay for 12 sessions of therapy at no cost to the youth or their caretakers and will help families navigate services. Providers are available in English and Spanish with translation services available for other languages.

 

“Second Wind Fund is thrilled about the newly established referral pathway with the Follow-Up Project. Second Wind Fund has been on a 20+ year journey in Colorado of ensuring that no youth fall through the cracks of our mental health system. Our partnership will most certainly help save young lives across the state from suicide.” said Chris Weiss, Executive Director of the Second Wind Fund.

 

Youth must be referred to Second Wind Fund by a participating emergency department or inpatient program in order to benefit from this referral pathway. However, parents and caregivers who are concerned their child may be experiencing thoughts of suicide can find immediate, free, and confidential support by calling Colorado Crisis Services at 1-844-493-TALK or by texting “TALK” to 38255.