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Opinion: Youth suicide rates unacceptable

DENVER - Tick-tock. Tick-tock. The fateful crocodile that has swallowed the clock in “Peter Pan” has found me and is in hot pursuit. I am beleaguered by the ticking clock, minute by minute, hour by hour, then tolling to signal another young suicide. Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

Annual estimates of suicide attempts among young people, ages 15 to 24, surpass 1 million in the United States. These estimates correspond to an average of one attempt every three minutes, 500 hundred attempts daily and a completed suicide every 90 minutes.  This is not a low base rate behavior.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment, more Coloradans died by suicide in 2012 than ever before. The state’s youth suicide death toll has been climbing for the past decade, giving Colorado one of the highest suicide rates in the nation.  And Mesa County, year after year, decade after decade, has one of the world’s leading suicide base rates per 100,000 population when compared to perennial leaders Japan and South Korea.

The subject of youth suicide is relentless and anxiety provoking. 

Read more of Dr. Russell Copelan's article in Solutions.


January 7, 2014 | By rmbarber | Category: Mental Health Intervention

District News

The Douglas County School District Board of Education welcomes Dr. Thomas S. Tucker into the role of Superintendent of Douglas County School District. Dr. Tucker officially leads the 68,000 student district as of July 1, 2018.


Nearly 1,500 Colorado students applied for the prestigious Boettcher Foundation Scholarship this year, with 42 being named recipients. Of those, the Douglas County School District (DCSD) is proudly home to four recipients.


When it comes to mental health services, communities traditionally focus on supporting kids as needs arise. This work is crucial for the safety of our students. Equally important, though, is prevention-based programming that can help, early on, prevent the social-emotional challenges our kids may be experiencing from escalating.