Suicide Prevention Expands Throughout Weld County

As the partnership between the Weld Trust® and North Range Behavioral Health progresses, suicide prevention and crisis support services continue to grow and make a difference throughout Weld County.

Suicide Education and Support Services (SESS) is a program of North Range Behavioral Health that has served Weld County for years by providing education around the importance of destigmatizing mental health conditions and the facts around suicide. Throughout the years, SESS has also provided critical support to those who have survived the suicide of a loved one. Funding for SESS comes from North Range Behavioral Health, state grants, and donations.

With support from the Weld Trust, SESS has been able to expand Question-Persuade-Refer (QPR) training in Weld County for adults. QPR is a program that helps save lives by providing practical and proven suicide prevention strategies and tools to community members. Additionally, SESS has been able to expand suicide prevention support for Weld County youth.

Recent additional funding has enabled SESS to deliver SAFE:Teen© training more broadly to more local area high schools including schools in Frederick, Erie, Mead, and Ft. Lupton. SAFE:Teen is a suicide prevention program created specifically for adolescents that offers meaningful resources and knowledge about suicide prevention to middle and high school students. In these trainings, young people learn about warning signs and leave the training feeling empowered to reach out for support.

In Fort Lupton, Lydia Nava, Fort Lupton Middle School Counselor knows that SESS is supporting good mental health in students and creating opportunities for teens to ask for help when they need it.

“It’s been a very rough year for our students, and the topic of mental health and suicide is more important than ever. We were fortunate to be able to offer SESS presentations on two different days to our 8th graders this year. Even though it was a virtual presentation, seven students wanted a check-in afterwards, and two of those saw our North Range school-based therapist. Some students even attended a repeat presentation.”

Fort Lupton Middle School and North Range are collaborating on plans for delivering SAFE: Teen training (with age-appropriate changes) for 6th and 7th graders soon, which has proven to be a critical education for middle schoolers as well. “I’ve had students that age expresses suicidal thoughts,” Nava reflected. “The good news is that administrators and teachers have been very supportive of incorporating SESS support as a critical addition to our school curriculum.”

Together, Weld County schools and SESS will help many students navigate adolescent struggles – and quite possibly save lives in the process.

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