(CBS4) — Even before coronavirus, teen suicide was a problem across the nation. Now, as students head back to class, some worry how the pandemics added pressure will affect students.

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“This upcoming school year I am worried, because there’s so many uncertainties for students,” said Kari Eckert. Eckert is the founder of Robbie’s Hope, named after her son, who took his own life in 2018. Ever since then, it’s been her mission to spread awareness about teen mental health. With some students staying isolated at home and others worried about going back to school, she wants them to know it’s OK to not be OK.

“I just want teens to know that suicide is not an option and that they have to reach out if they’re struggling. It’s not OK to stay silent,” she told CBS4’s Dominic Garcia.

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Hanna Newman is a senior at Lakewood High School and has been active in Robbie’s Hope, even testifying in front of Colorado lawmakers in support of mental health legislation. Hanna says she’s nervous about the upcoming school year, but is dedicated to spreading awareness about mental health. In fact, Robbie’s Hope has a new COVID-19 section on their website, and will be coming out with a new handbook that focus on kids and social media.

“Even though it’s going to be different this year, we should try to lean on each other and focus on making it the best we can,” she told CBS4’s Dominic Garcia.

Additional Resources:

SUICIDE HOTLINE: 1.844.493.8255 or text TALK to 38255

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Colorado Crisis Services: 1-844-493-8255

Dominic Garcia