By: Uriel Villalobos and Elizabeth Bridgewater
Last night, The Denver Post held a meeting for the awareness of teen suicide and mental illness. It was held at the Pueblo Rawlings Library. According to Jessica Seaman’s recent blog post, from The Denver Post, “Having an off-the-record conversation with the community means that we will not use the information discussed in our stories. Instead, the conversation will guide our reporting by giving us an idea of where to dig deeper to get the information we need”. Seaman hosted the conversation. You can read the full blog at (https://www.denverpost.com/2019/10/16/denver-post-youth-suicide-community-conversations/)
At this meeting, students and community members as well as some health professionals, voiced their opinions on a span of topics from society’s and media’s view of mental illness and to the education system’s handling of it.. I was able to voice my opinion as well listen to others voice their opinions, experiences, and perspective. One thing that stood out was the opinion of that not only should school counselors be trained to evaluate students academically but to evaluate them mentally as well. With this, possibly, we can prevent more students from thinking and doing the worst.
One thing I remember was being in the second grade at my K-8 school. An eighth student had committed suicide the day before, and all of the teachers were just learning of the sudden news. My young mind was confused to see most all the teachers crying and even more so with students. Yet, through the years, I began to realize that this epidemic heavily effects people and it is not something that should be grazed over and ignored.
I would like to thank The Denver Postfor holding this event, which was rather enlightening and informational and wish them well on their current project involving suicide prevention. If you or someone you know are having suicidal thoughts or actions, please, go to these resources so you can get the help you need:
-National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
-Colorado Crisis Services: 1-844-493-8255