One of the hidden and less discussed impacts of our COVID pandemic is the toll it is taking on the mental health of our young people.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control data indicates that suicidal ideation is up among young people since last year. As many as one in four people ages 18 through 24 having seriously considered suicide in the 30 days preceding a recent survey. Here locally, we are aware of at least 13 deaths by suicides of area students since March.
At a time when most area schools are now meeting online, thankfully the majority of our presentations of Education for a Lifetime (EFL) are still taking place by live interactive webinars. This gives us the opportunity to share hopeful insight, interact with students and address questions directly about both healthy relationships – and suicide awareness and prevention.
In August, one area school tragically lost a junior high student to suicide. We contacted their school counselor to see how we could support their community. Together, we developed a plan to host two parent webinars to equip parents with how to help their students navigate grief and loss. We had 28 parents attend live, and the video was sent to the rest of their parents. We also trained 57 of their junior high and high school teachers and most of their staff in Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA).
After the training, we received this feedback from their school counselor:
Thank you does not do justice as to how much I appreciate all the support you’ve provided our school. After the suicide, our staff has been asking for more support, and your team was able to offer that to us so quickly. Teachers are now feeling like they know how to respond and talk to a student who they’ve noticed a change in behavior, and that is huge to the kind of ripple effect that will have in supporting our students and our community.
It’s your faithful support that enables us to quickly, regularly be there for area schools and provide their students and parents with wise, medically sound guidance on both mental health and relationships.
Several generous donors have joined together to donate $150,000 and challenge our supporters to do the same. With this year-end matching challenge, that means your gift can go twice as far. Will you help us meet our goal of raising $150,000 by the end of the year?
Your generous gift today can help ensure we can be there for classrooms of students in the months ahead – as well as the young people we see daily in our pregnancy centers. Help us make Colorado Springs a city that values life at EVERY age and stage!
Whether it’s a monthly gift – or a generous end-of-year gift of $100, $250, $500 or more – you can be sure it will provide transformative care directly to those who need it. Thank you for your passion to see lives valued and transformed in our community!
Changing lives together,