Suicide Prevention Month

Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Suicide Prevention Month 

Despite progress, the youth mental health crisis in America continues to demand our attention. This September, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver recognizes National Suicide Prevention Month by working to raise awareness of the challenge, share warning signs, and provide education around protective factors. Suicide is a leading cause of death for Colorado’s youth and young adults. We all can help reduce suicide rates and support kids in our communities.   

Each of us can raise awareness and spread education by knowing the facts, acting as safe adults for the kids in our lives, and supporting efforts to make mental health care accessible to kids.    

As an organization, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver is committed to providing high-quality, ongoing mental health support to our members and staff. Our team of full-time mental health professionals support the mental health needs of kids in our community. Our Clubs have a mental health team member present multiple times each week to facilitate individual connection sessions and small social-emotional learning groups that support a wide range of mental health needs – all at no extra cost to members and families.  

We know intervention, supportive relationships, and safe spaces make a difference, but none of that is possible if mental healthcare is out of reach, too expensive, or too far away. With our recent expansion from 20 to 25 Clubs, we are committed to providing accessible mental health care and are hiring two additional mental health professionals in December.  

Mental health support is one of the most critical services we provide in our Clubs. It is foundational to our programming and helps kids build resilience in an increasingly uncertain world. Our programs normalize seeking help and break the stigma around talking about mental health struggles, both key in Denver’s suicide prevention strategy.  

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, having an adult to go to for help with a serious problem is one of the strongest protective factors for a young person. 88% of Club members have an adult at their Club they trust with big problems (2023 NYOI Survey). 

Our mental health team also supports our Club staff: the youth development professionals who infuse all Club activities with social-emotional learning (SEL). As experts in youth development, we know how important social-emotional learning is to healthy growth: “Social and emotional well-being is deeply intertwined with children’s cognitive development”  (Duffrin, 2020). 

Our prioritization of SEL means Clubs are safe spaces for kids; 88% of members feel like it's safe to be themselves at their Club (NYOI 2023). Growing up can be scary and challenging, especially as kids face unprecedented mental health struggles. Kids need to be able to cope with adversity, manage their emotions, and ask for help when they need it.  

Together, we can all take action to support mental health needs in our communities. As an organization, we work to ensure that Club kids and families have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention and to seek help.    

We all have a role to play in suicide prevention. By raising awareness, reducing the stigma around suicide and encouraging well-informed action, we can save lives.