By Karen Morfitt

PARKER, Colo. (CBS4) – The Parker Police Department hosted a discussion geared toward parents, but was all about their children. The topic: teen suicide.

Kelly Gadden was among those at the department’s parent academy.

(credit: CBS)

“It’s not a popular topic by any means, and it’s scary, a lot of fear,” Gadden said.

Crystal Essman is a school resource officer with the Parker Police Department. She and members of their community response team, which includes a licensed clinician, hosted the two-hour class.

“We want to make sure we give not only information to parents about prevention and awareness, but we give parents tools so they can start these conversations with their kids,” she said.

CBS4’s Karen Morfitt interviews Crystal Essman. (credit: CBS)

The focus was on what to watch for, how to respond and knowing when and how to get help.

“One is too many, this is staggeringly too many,” she told the dozens of parents in attendance.

Just minutes into the discussion, the importance was clear as parents shared personal stories about loss and frustration from some searching for direction.

“You don’t want to overreact. You don’t want to underreact,” Gadden said.

(credit: CBS)

The biggest takeaway from the class may just be understanding that no one has all the answers.

“Anything we can do to help that I want to throw as many tools at as many people as I possibly can to help this crisis,” Essman said

The Parker Police Department holds a variety of parent academies every few months. You can find their schedule online.

Karen Morfitt


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