DPS provides licensed and trained social workers and psychologists on school campuses to support the emotional and social well being of our students. These services are free to students and families, and are available to foster the development of the Whole Child.
More information on supports and services coming soon!
Suicide Prevention and Response
Suicide is a leading cause of death for children and youth in Colorado. Referrals for hospitalization continue to rise as Colorado has one of the highest rates for suicide in the country.
Denver Public Schools is dedicated to serving the Whole Child by working to ensure physical and psychological safety in schools. All schools work diligently to provide access to suicide prevention programming and community resources.
As a parent, it’s important to be aware of common warning signs, and to take all concerns seriously. Remember that together, we can prevent suicide!
It’s important to take all concerns seriously! Listen to your child, and acknowledge how they feel. Let them know you care and seek help from a trained mental health professional.
When risk is imminent, call 911 or transport your child to the nearest emergency room.
If you are worried about another child, you can call 911 or make a Safe2Tell report by calling 1-877-542-7233 or completing the form online.
How does DPS support suicide prevention?
DPS implements annual preventive programming for students:
Riding the Waves in our 5th grade classrooms
Signs of Suicide in our 6th and 9th grade classrooms
Ericka's Lighthouse for 5th, 6th, 9th and 12 grade classrooms
Safe2Tell programming in all schools, implementation varies by grade
Other programming and social-emotional curricula to foster protective factors and promote positive school culture, implementation varies by grade
DPS schools also provide annual training for parents and staff and cultivate community partnerships to support student and family access to affordable and relevant mental health services.
Talk with your child about mental health. Be present, listen, and take all concerns seriously.
Help your child identify trusted adults that they get help from. Talk to your child about Safe2Tell, and make sure they know how to report concerns at home, school, and in the community.
Engage in means restriction by limiting access to things your child can use to harm themself. This includes increasing supervision and implementing gun safety. Remove any medications that a child could use and overdose.
Partner with your school’s mental health provider (school psychologist, social worker, counselor, or nurse) to implement a safety plan for school and home. Use the DPS School Finder to locate your school’s web page and contact information.
Ask your school or primary care physician about free or low cost resources in your community.
Access referrals provided by emergency services. This could include follow-up with a primary care physician, referral to school-based health center, or a referral for free counseling through Second Wind Fund.
The Student Safety Team supports school communities in the following areas of work that include, but are not limited to: Suicide Risk Review Process, Non-Suicidal Self-Injury Process, Threat Response Process, Individualized Supervision Management Plans, Truancy/Delinquency, and the District Crisis Recovery Team.
Threat Response Process
The Threat Response Process is supported by a student safety protocol that is implemented when a student poses a threat, makes a threat, or if there is concern that a student may be about to act out violently. The protocol includes a Preliminary Information Gathering Form and a Full Threat Appraisal.
Suicide Risk Review Process
The Suicide Risk Review Process is supported by a student safety protocol that is initiated whenever a student talks about harming themself, or if there is concern that a student has thoughts about hurting themself. The protocol includes a Preliminary Suicide Risk Screener and Full Suicide Risk Review.
Non-Suicidal Self Injury Process
The Non-Suicidal Self Injury Process is supported by a student safety protocol that is initiated whenever a staff member becomes aware that a student has been hurting themself through self-injury. The protocol is called the Non-Suicidal Self Injury protocol.
Intervention and Supports
Each student safety protocol is concluded with the development and implementation of an Action and Intervention Plan to help support the safety of the student, school community, and a successful return to learning.
Director: Meredith Fatseas
Families needing support outside of the instructional day or during a school holiday, can access the Colorado Crisis Services at 1-844-493-8255 or Judi’s House for grief and loss support at 720-941-0331.
DPS District Crisis Recovery Team (DCRT)
DPS District Crisis Recovery Team (DCRT) works to support schools with response and recovery efforts following a crisis. DCRT Responders include school psychologists, school social workers, nurses, counselors and other staff. DCRT Responders implement services aligned with the NASP PREPaRE Model in collaboration with DPS Communications and DPS Department of Climate and Safety. Staff receive support through the Employee Assistance Program. For more information on your school’s crisis response and recovery efforts, please contact your school’s mental health providers.