By Dominic Garcia
DENVER (CBS4) – October is Mental Health Awareness Month. The goal is to get people talking about mental illness, end the stigma, and encourage people who need help to speak up.
Ellen Kelty is a long time school psychologist and is now the Director of Student Equity and Opportunity for Denver Public Schools. She helps deploy crisis teams to schools when a tragedy has happened.
“We have a rotating crisis team that we call out so we get right on board taking care of that. There’s also a sense of sadness if a student passes away or a staff member passes away. It’s sad,” she told CBS4’s Dominic Garcia.
She says suicide is now the number one cause of death in young people ages 10-24 and says it’s the first time it’s been like that in Colorado.
She says that’s why resources like Safe2Tell and National Suicide Prevention Lifeline are so important.
“I think there’s still that teenage code of silence where you don’t want to go to an adult,” said Kelty.
World Mental Health Day is observed on Oct. 10 every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.
Kelty wants everyone to know that these issues are treatable, just like asthma or diabetes. She also says there’s a message for parents.
“If they have a concern about their child, please let us know right away. So we can get them the support system they need,” she said.
An anonymous way for students, parents, school staff and community members to report concerns regarding their safety or the safety of others
The Trevor Project
Crisis prevention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals
Mobile Crisis Services, Denver Health
24/7 service that provides mental health support to residents of the city and county of Denver and to Mental Health Center of Denver consumers during and after a crisis