New report by Colorado Attorney General analyzes youth suicide | Mental Health Colorado Action Dashboard
Jan 14, 2019

New report by Colorado Attorney General analyzes youth suicide

By: Colleen Sikora

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Colorado has regularly ranked in the top 10 states for high suicide rates and El Paso County has been studied for having some of the highest rates in the state.

A report released earlier this month by Colorado's previous Attorney General, Cynthia Coffman, says it's a complex issue.

But their findings show some contributing factors in youth suicide are pressure and anxiety about failing, lack of connections to adults and social media.

Mari Moxley, who works with the Teen Board at Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention says the group has echoed similar issues detailed in the report.

"What they talk about is just scrolling through highlights and perfected images, it's this constant bid for 'do I fit? do I not fit?'," Moxley said.

According to the report, suicide rates in 10-to-18-year-olds in El Paso County doubled in recent years.

The report states from 2012 to 2014, 24 teens committed suicide, and from 2015 to 2017, 48 did.

Moxley says that number has gone down since then.

"Teen suicide has decreased from 2017 to 2018, almost decreased by half. I think that's important to point out because it seems as though some of our prevention efforts are hopefully contributing to that," Moxley said.

In an emergent situation, Moxley said a direct conversation is key.

"Empowering people to feel safe and intentional about asking whether a person is thinking about killing themselves is shown to produce effective results," Moxley said.

The impact is still felt locally with each teen who dies by suicide. Recently, a local teen died by suicide.

"It's rough for all of us. It's a big loss for us and we're going to do everything we can to be there for each other," student Grady Geiger said.

Geiger and other students have opened up a GoFundMe to raise money for the family of the student who died by suicide.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, you can get help by calling The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

You can also text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.