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Department Contact

Mental Health Intervention

Stephanie Crawford-Goetz
Mental Health Intervention

Fax: 303-387-0119

620 Wilcox Street
Castle Rock, CO 80104

Our Intervention Team

Social/emotional support and intervention is a collaboration between administrators, teachers, parents, counselors, school social workers and school psychologists.  By building student skills in communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity, we prepare students for learning and for life. Our work covers prevention, as well as targeted and intensive intervention for those who need additional support.  

Each school has a building level crisis team that responds when unfortunate situations occur in a building.  If the crisis is more intense or wide spread, the building may also engage the district crisis team.  

District Mental Health Crisis Team

In the event of a student, parent or staff member death or other traumatic situation, the Douglas County School District's Crisis Team takes action. The District's mental health professionals and administrators work in conjunction with DCSD's Community Relations department and Douglas County law enforcement entities to provide assistance to our school communities.

How to find support and intervention

Each school has designated time from a school psychologist.  Most buildings also have designated time from a school social worker.  Each secondary school has counselors.  To locate your school counselor, please check the building's website.  Below are buttons to find the school psychologists and social workers who serve in your high school feeder.

“S” indicates Social Worker
“P” indicates Psychologist


School: Name: "P" or "S"
Castle Rock Middle School Sibyl Arbello         P
Castle Rock Middle School Megan Basak S
Castle Rock Middle School Laura McCartney S
Castle View High School Annette VanVleet S
Castle View High School Tracey Bowman P
Clear Sky Elementary Lauren Bennett P
Larkspur Elementary Gerri Dionisio P
Meadow View Elementary June Messana S
Meadow View Elementary Kristen Bjork P
Sedalia Elementary Chris Desilets S
Soaring Hawk Elementary Shuka Hall P


School: Name: "P" or "S"
Chaparral High School Kelsey Stappert P
Chaparral High School Julie Stonis P
Cherokee Trail Elementary Sarita Bonner P
Mammoth Heights Elementary Kathleen Campbell S
Mammoth Heights Elementary Brittany Ubben P
Pine Grove Elementary Amy Kaylor Hogsett S
Pine Grove Elementary Jennifer Vanterpool P
Pine Lane Primary/Intermediate Kathleen Campbell S
Pine Lane Primary/Intermediate Ruqayyah Airen P
Prairie Crossing Elementary Mary Senkosky P
Prairie Crossing Elementary Jessi Wheatley P
Sierra Middle School Stephanie Guyer P
Sierra Middle School Stephanie Bulawa S


School: Name: "P" or "S"
Castle Rock Elementary Michelle Wright P
Cherry Valley Elementary Lynn Varone P
Douglas County High School Debbie Mills P
Douglas County High School Tricia Anderson S
Flagstone Elementary Gerri Dionisio P
Mesa Middle School Angela Hollis P
Mesa Middle School Mary Smith S
Renaissance Magnet School Michelle Wright P
Renaissance Magnet School Allison Armour S
Rock Ridge Elementary Cindy Thomas S
Rock Ridge Elementary Steven Kelley P
Sage Canyon Elementary Chris Arneson P
South Ridge Elementary Nicole Goering P
South Ridge Elementary Cindy Thomas S


School: Name: "P" or "S"
Acres Green Elementary Chantel Albert P
Acres Green Elementary Christina Wu P
Arrowwood Elementary Caren Rhodes P
Arrowwood Elementary Danielle Ross S
Cougar Run Elementary Mary Senkowsky P
Cresthill Middle School Sarah Faron S
Cresthill Middle School Ariel Ursitti P
Eagle Ridge Elementary Pam Price P
Eagle Ridge Elementary TBD  
Fox Creek Elementary Julie Miller P
Highlands Ranch High School Diane Fern S
Highlands Ranch High School Jennifer Jones S
Highlands Ranch High School Chelsea Griffith S
Highlands Ranch High School Amy Stivers P
Lone Tree Magnet School Johnna Clavadetscher P


School: Name: "P" or "S"
Cimarron Middle School Scarlett Doise S
Cimarron Middle School Bethany Halpin P
Frontier Valley Elementary Erica Parrish P
Gold Rush Elementary Rochelle Evans P
Iron Horse Elementary Sarita Bonner P
Iron Horse Elementary Jennifer Vanterpool P
Legend High School Caroline Neely S
Legend High School Chris Saiz P
Pioneer Elementary Anna Beyer S
Pioneer Elementary Erica Parrish P


School: Name: "P" or "S"
Bear Canyon Elementary Chris Hughes P
Copper Mesa Elementary Emily Bryant P
Copper Mesa Elementary Kelsey Jacobsen P
Heritage Elementary Kelsey Jacobsen P
Mountain Ridge Middle School Jessica Ham S
Mountain Ridge Middle School Brian Nutter P
Mountain Vista High School Michael Christofferson P
Mountain Vista High School Julie Sturgeon S
Northridge Elementary Nicole Vasseur S
Northridge Elementary Jen Distler P
Sand Creek Elementary Chi Kowalchuk P
Sand Creek Elementary Emily Montgomery S
Summit View Elementary Nicole Vasseur S
Summit View Elementary Tricia Brown P


School: Name: "P" or "S"
Franktown Elementary Lynn Varone P
Legacy Point Elementary Susan Peary P
Legacy Point Elementary Scarlett Doise S
Mountain View Elementary Allison Dunn P
Northeast Elementary Stephanie Duffy P
Ponderosa High School Justin McNall P
Ponderosa High School Stephanie Bulawa S
Sagewood Middle School John Smrcka P
Sagewood Middle School Karri Wallace S


School: Name: "P" or "S"
Buffalo Ridge Elementary Chantel Albert P
Redstone Elementary Tricia Brown P
Rock Canyon High School Desi Rozen S
Rock Canyon High School Brandi Vos P
Rocky Heights Middle School Amy Freeman S
Rocky Heights Middle School Kelly Jones P
Rocky Heights Middle School Peter Thompson P
Timber Trail Elementary Nicole Goering P
Wildcat Mountain Elementary Erin Grell P
Wildcat Mountain Elementary Kelly Klassen S


School: Name: "P" or "S"
Coyote Creek Elementary Kristine Hammond P
Eldorado Elementary Emily Montgomery S
Eldorado Elementary Beth Collins P
Ranch View Middle School Danielle Ross S
Ranch View Middle School Toni Quintana P
Roxborough Primary/Intermediate Anna Balducki P
Roxborough Intermediate Beth Collins P
Saddle Ranch Elementary Allison Dunn P
Stone Mountain Elementary Jen Distler P
Stone Mountain Elementary Julie Miller P
ThunderRidge High School Jessica Iwachiw P
ThunderRidge High School Becky Hershey S
Trailblazer Elementary Kristen Anderson S
Trailblazer Elementary Chris Desilets P


School: Name: "P" or "S"
Bridge-Castle Rock Chris Hughes P
Bridge-Highlands Ranch Chris Hughes P
Bridge-Parker Allison Armour S
DCOakes Kimberly Fredrics P
DC Support Luke Simington S
Eagle Academy Diane Fern S
Plum Creek Academy Mike Eggen S
Plum Creek Academy Barb McLoughlin P
eDCSD Lynn Varone P


School: Name:  


Program: Name:  


Contact Us

Process in contacting staff members:

1. Contact the Mental Health staff member-listed by high school feeder

2. Contact the school administrator who oversees the mental health staff

3. Contact Stephanie Crawford, Mental Health Coordinator: sacrawford[at]dcsdk12[dot]org or 720-841-5226

Colorado Crisis Reference Guide

What is Bullying?

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems. 

In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:

  • An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
  • Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.

Myths About Bullying

The following is a list of myths about bullying from the website.
  • Bullying is the Same Thing as Conflict.
  • Most Bullying is Physical (Involves Hitting, Shoving, Kicking).
  • Bullying isn’t Serious. It’s Just a Matter of “Kids Being Kids.”
  • Bullying Doesn’t Happen at My Child’s School.
  • Bullying is Mostly a Problem in Urban Schools.
  • Bullying is More Likely to Happen on the Bus than at School.
  • Children and Youth Who Are Bullied Will Almost Always Tell an Adult.Children and Youth Who Bully are Mostly Loners with Few Social Skills.
  • Bullied Kids Need to Learn How to Deal with Bullying on Their Own.
  • Most Children and Youth Who Observe Bullying Don’t Want to Get Involved.

Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services:

In-School Prevention

Team U.P. (Universal Prevention) partners with elementary schools to offer half-day seminars to 5th and 6th grade students about healthy social relationships.  These seminars consist of break-out sessions which include intentional games, discussions, and activities to proactively help these students navigate their way in social situations.  Topics addressed during this event include the following: respect, diversity, commonalities, leadership, and preteen culture.  In addition, there are sessions that talk about the differences between bullying and normal conflict, being a bystander and an upstander, and what are the sources of support these students turn to when life gets tricky, regardless of the magnitude of the problem.  If you are interested in hosting a seminar at your school, please contact Ann Metz ammetz[at]dcsdk12[dot]org.


Additionally, Sources of Strength serves as an anti-bullying and school culture-building tool. Learn more here.


Instead of happening face-to-face, Cyberbullying happens through social media and the use of technology such as computers, cell phones and other electronic devices.  Cyberbullying peaks around the end of middle school and the beginning of high school.

There are things students can do to protect themesleves online:

  • Always think about what you post. You never know what someone will forward. Being kind to others online will help to keep you safe. Do not share anything that could hurt or embarrass anyone.
  • Keep your password a secret from other kids. Even kids that seem like friends could give your password away or use it in ways you don’t want. Let your parents have your passwords.
  • Think about who sees what you post online. Complete strangers? Friends? Friends of friends? Privacy settings let you control who sees what.
  • Keep your parents in the loop. Tell them what you’re doing online and who you’re doing it with. Let them friend or follow you. Listen to what they have to say about what is and isn’t okay to do. They care about you and want you to be safe.
  • Talk to an adult you trust about any messages you get or things you see online that make you sad or scared. If it is cyberbullying, report it.

Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services:

LGBTQ Bullying and Anti-Discrimination

The following is from OneColorado:


1.  FERPA protects all students, including transgender and gender-nonconforming students, from sex discrimination. Title IX encompasses discrimination based on a student’s nonconformity with sex stereotypes and gender identity, including a student’s transgender status.  Once a school is notified that a student will begin asserting a gender identity that differs from previous representations or records, the school must begin treating the student consistent with the student’s gender identity. When a school provides sex-segregated activities or facilities, transgender students must be allowed to participate in such activities and access such facilities consistent with their gender identity. Moreover, schools should be aware of their obligation under Title IX and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to protect the privacy of their students when maintaining education records. Learn more about FERPA and Title IX

2.  Colorado follows state anti-discrimination and civil rights laws and guidance.  In 2008, Colorado passed a law (S.B. 08-2000) expanding prohibitions against discrimination.  The law calls out the need to protect all regardless of “disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, or ancestry” in all places of public accommodation.  This law defines sexual orientation as “a person’s orientation toward heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality or transgender status or another person’s perception thereof.” 

In 2011, Colorado passed House Bill 11-1254, a comprehensive anti-bullying bill that prohibits bullying on the basis of a student’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

In addition, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission issued rules (3 CCR 708-1) that state “All [public] covered entities shall allow individuals the proper use of gender-segregated facilities that are consistent with their gender identity.  Gender-segregated facilities include but are not limited to, restrooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms and dormitories.”  The term “gender identity” is in turn defined by the rules as follows:  “Gender identity” means an innate sense of one’s own gender.” 

A Colorado court case in 2013 supported the right of a 6 year old transgender student in Fountain School district to use the restroom that aligned with her gender identity. Learn more about State of Colorado Civil Rights and Anti-Discrimination Laws

3.  DCSD Board Policy: The  DCSD Board  of  Education  is  committed  to  maintaining  a  learning environment for students that is free from harassment based on an individual's disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, or ancestry.  All such harassment, by District employees, students and third parties, is strictly prohibited.

Harassment based on disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, or ancestry will be regarded as a violation of this policy when: (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a student's education; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for educational decisions affecting the student; or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of adversely affecting a student's ability to participate in or benefit from District program(s), or of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational environment.

LGBTQ Anti-bullying Resources

According to GLSEN research, compared to other students in the LGBTQ community, transgender and genderqueer students face more hostile school climates. So, too, do gender non-conforming (GNC) students, whose gender expression does not align to traditional gender norms.

The below resources can help students and educators learn about gender diversity, pronoun visibility, trans students' rights, and inclusive curriculum and GSA practices.

What to Do if You're Bullied

There are things you can do if you are being bullied:
  • Look at the kid bullying you and tell him or her to stop in a calm, clear voice. You can also try to laugh it off. This works best if joking is easy for you. It could catch the kid bullying you off guard.
  • If speaking up seems too hard or not safe, walk away and stay away. Don’t fight back. Find an adult to stop the bullying on the spot.

There are things you can do to stay safe in the future, too.

  • Talk to an adult you trust. Don’t keep your feelings inside. Telling someone can help you feel less alone. They can help you make a plan to stop the bullying.
  • Stay away from places where bullying happens.
  • Stay near adults and other kids. Most bullying happens when adults aren’t around.

Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services:

For Parents

Get Involved

It’s more important now than ever before for parents, educators and youth advocates to start the conversation early about bullying, especially when it comes to social networking and social media tools. Parents need to know what sites and tools are most popular, so they can monitor their student’s online lives. 

We know that our students are transient online, always on the search for the newest, coolest tools. For that reason, we encourage our community to be ever vigilant regarding bullying and suicidal behavior. Regardless of the platform or whether it’s in the schoolyard, on the bus, on the computer or mobile device, please stay vigilant.

Teaching students how to remain safe, no matter what the tool or site is, is our goal. When students are empowered to make good decisions when using social networking sites and tools, they remain safe.

We encourage parents to be actively involved, monitoring their children’s lives, including their time online. Using software and options from cellular carriers may be helpful.


Take Action

If you are concerned about your child’s behavior:

  • Start by reporting to your school: teacher, counselor or principal.
  • Resources are available through our YESS program, an educational partnership with our law enforcement agencies, as well as in the Student Wellness section of the District website.

If there is an immediate threat to your child or other students, call local law enforcement at 911.

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides a 24 hour crisis line for those who are thinking of suicide. They also help those who are feeling hopeless or helpless or know someone that is.

Metro Crisis Line

Metro Crisis Services offers a hotline for those struggling with a mental or emotional problem, getting into trouble with drugs or alcohol, having family or relationship problems, or problems at work or school. Support and guidance is free and confidential.

877-542-SAFE (7233)

SAFE2TELL is designed to help YOU anonymously report any threatening behavior that endangers you, your friends, your family, or your community.

Bullying Prevention & Awareness in DCSD

“At the recent Douglas County Youth Congress event, I worked with a group of DCSD high school students who said ‘our problem is we’re not really sure when we need help,’ ” said Prevention & School Culture Director, Staci McCormack. “They felt they didn’t understand that being a teenager can present small challenges even on a daily basis. They were not sure that being truly depressed for days and feeling hopeless is not just a common teenager feeling. They asked ‘is that normal? Or is that not?’” Read more

Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime.

What is dating violence?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teen dating violence is defined as the physical, sexual, or psychological/emotional violence within a dating relationship, as well as stalking. It can occur in person or electronically and may occur between a current or former dating partner. You may have heard several different words used to describe teen dating violence. Here are just a few:

  • Relationship Abuse
  • Intimate Partner Violence
  • Relationship Violence
  • Dating Abuse
  • Domestic Abuse
  • Domestic Violence

Read More: Understanding Teen Dating Violence

Simple Tips to Avoid Teen Violence

Many parents spend long nights, fretting while their teen is out, especially if they’re on a first date. Jennifer Walker with the Women's Crisis and Family Outreach Center in Castle Rock says there are some simple things teens can do to ease their parent’s worries. READ MORE...

Begin With Group Dates
When going on a first date, go with a group of people, especially if it is someone you really don't know very well. The group date process gives you an opportunity to see who this person really is and are they going to treat you right and then you have an opportunity to get away if things aren't going very well.

Create A "Code Word"
Before the date, she encourages teens to set up a “code word” with their friends, so if danger is sensed you can get out of the situation. Walker says parents can also provide a perfect excuse.

Learn About Your Date
If possible, learn a little bit about the guy or girl’s relationships from family and friends.

Set Boundaries
Knowing where you “begin and end” in a relationship is important, so that you can tell someone when to stop.

Seek Help
It is important to ensure you’ve got someone you can talk to, honestly, about dating situations. 

Don't isolate yourself when things are not going well in your relationships. Talk to other people about what is going on, particularly if you need help. Maybe it is a friend that has given you good advice or support. Maybe you find a teacher or your parents.

24-Hour Crisis Line
The Crisis Center, formerly the Women’s Crisis Center of Douglas County, offers a hotline to help victims of domestic violence, including dating violence.

Metro Crisis Line
Metro Crisis Services offers a hotline for those struggling with a mental or emotional problem, getting into trouble with drugs or alcohol, having family or relationship problems, or problems at work or school. Support and guidance is free and confidential.

A Community of Support After Loss

Death is part of life, but no matter our age, it can be a struggle to deal with the loss of a loved one. It can be especially difficult for young children who are unable to comprehend what has happened or teenagers who are struggling with overwhelming feelings.

That is why the Douglas County School District has gathered resources to help students, families and schools deal with loss.

Reassuring Children
Caring adults, whether parents, teachers, counselors or friends, can help teens during this difficult time. If adults are open, honest and loving, experiencing the loss of someone loved can be a chance for young people to learn about both the joy and pain that comes from caring deeply for others.

Parents and guardians, you are the very best support system in meeting your child’s needs. You can provide the best explanation that fits with your values and beliefs. We encourage families to talk briefly following a loss of life and to acknowledge any feelings that may surface.

Children depend on adults. If we are unavailable for them, they have no one to turn to for help with their confusion, doubts, questions, and fears. Adults need to be able to comfort a child, even if it appears that the child is unaffected by death. Remember, it is more frightening for a child to be sent away than to stay and see a parent or other adult cry because of anguish. If you believe you are unable to comfort your child because of your own grief, find someone who can. Don’t try to deal with the grief of a child if you can’t deal with your own. 

The needs of all children at this time include:
  1. Clear, understandable, and developmentally appropriate information 
  2. Reassurance that they are safe
  3. The feeling of being involved and cared for
  4. Help in identifying and understanding the grief of others around them
  5. Acknowledgment of, and respect for, their own thoughts and feelings
  6. Continuation of usual interests and activities i.e. school, birthday parties, sports

What to Expect
During this period of sadness, you may notice a variety of reactions from your child. You may find your child unusually talkative or quiet. Your child may ask a lot of questions, be anxious, or may want to cling to you more than usual. These are all signals of the need for a little extra support. You may also notice no reaction from your child, and that is okay too. Children can experience a wide range of feelings and behaviors that are normal when dealing with this kind of tragedy.

Strive to recognize when children are in pain. Death hurts, and children need to be comforted and reassured that someone is there to help them through it. Reassurance is both physical and verbal. Hold your child to comfort them. Reassure them that it’s okay to cry, feel sorry for themselves and talk about their fears. 
Check up periodically on how children are coping with their loss. Ask them directly if there is any help you can give. If you offer help, be sure to follow up on what you say you will do.
Remember, children are individuals. They will all grieve differently. Don’t be too quick to tell a child how to grieve. Don’t be surprised if children do not appear to be grieving. Sometimes they are trying to control their feelings.
Talk About It
Encourage children to talk about death. The real question is not whether we should talk to children about death, but when and how. When you talk about death, it is important to include feelings. Don’t be afraid of displaying emotions. In talking with children, especially young ones, it is important to use the words “death, dying, and dead,” and to explain that the body ceases to function. If we talk about death as “sleep,” the child might become afraid to go to bed. Children respect adults who are honest and open about death. Talk about death as permanent without euphemisms, myths, half-truths or fables. They need reassurance that death is NOT a result of their negative thought, feelings, wishes, or actions. If you select materials to help explain death and dying to children, please pay attention to your child’s age and intellectual development. 

Learn the basics of Internet safety

The Internet has opened up amazing opportunities for our children, drastically changing the way they interact with the world. Now with the click of a mouse, they have access to vast amounts of information, amazing tools and the ability to interact with people from around the world. Of course, with these benefits there are many risks, including exposure to inappropriate material, online predators, and cyberbullying.

Today children use many different types of online services, each of which have their own safety concerns. By taking simple precautions, it is possible to avoid many of the dangers lurking online. 

Get Involved
We encourage parents to be actively involved, by setting reasonable expectations and then monitoring their student’s lives, including their time online. 

Know Where They Go
We know that our students are transient online, always on the search for the newest, coolest tools. For that reason, it’s more important now than ever before for parents to keep tabs on what sites and tools are most popular.

Cyber Safety is Practiced At School
DCSD works to support these efforts by encouraging students to take their online safety seriously, through critical thinking and civil behavior and by limiting the amount of personal information they share.

READ MORE: CDC: Kids and Technology: Tips for Parents in a High-Tech World and FBI: A Parent’s Guide to Internet Safety

Web Safety Tips for Parents

The following are measures parents can take to help increase their student's security online:
  • Keep the computer in a high-traffic area of your home.
  • Be reasonable and try to set reasonable expectations. Establish limits for which online sites children may visit and for how long.
  • Remember that Internet technology can be mobile, so make sure to monitor cell phones, gaming devices, and laptops. Using software and options from cellular carriers may be helpful.
  • Surf the Internet with your children and let them show you what they like to do online.
  • Know who is connecting with your children online and set rules for social networking, instant messaging, e-mailing, online gaming, and using webcams.
  • Continually dialogue with your children about online safety.
  • Ask your kids to share their profiles and blogs with you.

Sources: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Connect Safely

Protecting Our Children: Online & Elsewhere
Bullying is nothing new. We encourage our community to be ever vigilant regarding bullying and suicidal behavior, regardless of the platform, whether it’s in the schoolyard, on the bus, on the computer or mobile device. 

Technology, however, has revolutionized the bullying problem. Instead of happening face-to-face in the classroom, on the playground or bus--cyberbullying is more stealthy. An attack can be launched, often anonymously, from anywhere, using a computer or cell phone, at any time of the day or night. This can makes the bullying more elusive and harder for adults to detect and stop. Additionally, the anonymity of the internet often makes cyber bullies bolder, which can mean more humuliating attacks.

For this reason it is crucial for parents, educators and youth advocates to start the conversation early about bullying, social networking and social media tools. Expectations must be clear that this type of behavior will not be tolerated.

Teaching students how to remain safe and treating others respectfully, no matter what the tool or site is, is our goal. When students are empowered to make good decisions when using social networking sites and tools, they remain safe.

Take Action
If you are concerned about your child’s behavior or a specific incident:

  • Stay with your child, until you are sure they are safe
  • If there is an immediate threat to your child or other students, call 911.
  • Report the situation to your school: teacher, counselor, principal or local law enforcement.

If there is an immediate threat to your child or other students, call local law enforcement at 911.

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides a 24 hour crisis line for those who are thinking of suicide. They also help those who are feeling hopeless or helpless or know someone that is.

Metro Crisis Line

Metro Crisis Services offers a hotline for those struggling with a mental or emotional problem, getting into trouble with drugs or alcohol, having family or relationship problems, or problems at work or school. Support and guidance is free and confidential.

877-542-SAFE (7233)

SAFE2TELL is designed to help YOU anonymously report any threatening behavior that endangers you, your friends, your family, or your community.

READ MORE: How to Report a Suicidal User in Facebook

Suicide is Preventable.

Most suicides occur due to some form of mental condition, such as depression or a substance abuse disorder. These conditions are treatable and suicide is preventable.


Know the Signs
The more warning signs the greater the risk.

Previous attempts

If your son or daughter has attempted suicide in the past, there is a greater likelihood that he or she will try again. Be very observant of any friends who have tried suicide before.


Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness. Strong thoughts of helplessness and hopelessness; behaviors or comments that indicate overwhelming feelings of sadness or pessimistic views of their future.

'Masked' depression

Acts of aggression, gunplay and alcohol/substance abuse. While your daughter or son may not act "depressed," their behavior suggests that they are not concerned about their own safety.

Final arrangements

Giving away prized possessions such as jewelry, clothing, journals or pictures.

Efforts to hurt oneself

Self-injury behaviors including running into traffic, jumping from heights and scratching, cutting and marking the body.

Inability to concentrate or think clearly

Such problems may be reflected in classroom behavior, homework habits, academic performance, household chores and even in conversation. If your son or daughter starts getting poor grades; acting up in class; forgetting or poorly performing chores around the house; or talking in a way that suggests they are having trouble concentrating, these might be signs of stress and risk for suicide.

Changes in physical habits and appearance

Changes include inability to sleep or sleeping all the time; sudden weight gain or loss; or disinterest in appearance or hygiene.

Sudden changes in personality, friends and behaviors

Withdrawing and avoiding friends and family; skipping school or classes; loss of involvement in activities that were once important.

Death and suicidal themes

These might appear in classroom drawings; work samples; journals; or homework.


An increased interest in guns and other weapons; increased access to guns or pills; and/or talking about or hinting at a suicide plan. The greater the planning, the greater the potential for suicide.

Suicide notes

These are a very real sign of danger and should be taken seriously.


Threats may be direct statements such as "I want to die" or "I am going to kill myself." Or, unfortunately, indirect comments such as "The world would be better without me" or "Nobody will miss me anyway" also may be strong indicators of suicidal feelings. A teenage son or daughter might give indirect clues through joking or through comments in school assignments, particularly creative writing or artwork. Younger children and those who may have some delays in their development may not be able to express their feelings in words, but may provide indirect clues in the form of acting-out, violent behavior, often with threatening or suicidal comments. 



Talk About It
Asking the suicide question does not increase the risk.

  • Ask directly - "Are you thinking about killing yourself?"
  • How you ask the question is less important than that you ask it.
  • Talk to the person alone in a private setting.
  • How not to ask the question - "You're not suicidal are you?"

Suicide is not the problem, only the solution to a perceived insolvable problem.

  • Listen to the problem and give them your full attention.
  • Offer help in any form.
  • Then ask, "Will you go with me to get help?" or
  • "Will you let me help you?" and
  • "Will you promise not to kill yourself until we've found some help?"


Get Help
Any willingness to accept help at some time, even if in the future, is a good outcome.

• Call 911 if you believe they are in immediate danger of harming themselves.
• The best referral involves taking the person directly to someone who can help.
• The next best referral is getting a commitment from them to accept help, and then making the arrangements to get that help.

The National Suicide PREVENTION LIFEline (l-800-273-8255) is a free 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crises or emotional distress. The LIFEline has referral information specific to each community.

• The third best referral is to give referral information and try to get a good faith commitment not to complete or attempt suicide.

Source: Douglas County Suicide Prevention Alliance

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides a 24 hour crisis line for those who are thinking of suicide. They also help those who are feeling hopeless or helpless or know someone that is.

Metro Crisis Line

Metro Crisis Services offers a hotline for those struggling with a mental or emotional problem, getting into trouble with drugs or alcohol, having family or relationship problems, or problems at work or school. Support and guidance is free and confidential.

877-542-SAFE (7233)

SAFE2TELL is designed to help YOU anonymously report any threatening behavior that endangers you, your friends, your family, or your community.


Our Programs
The Douglas County School District takes suicide prevention very seriously. We work very closely with local law enforcement and non profit organizations in our community to educate our stakeholders and provide support to those in need.

Services for Students

  • Signs of Suicide (SOS) is an evidence-based program used in all middle schools to support the 8th grade health essential learning around personal safety. SOS teaches students how to recognize and respond to signs of depression and suicide in themselves or a friend. At the high school level, schools may implement SOS with all students. SOS is funded by a variety of local and state grants.

  • Safe2Tell and Text-a-Tip are anonymous ways for students to report risk-taking behavior to adults. All tips are investigated and many tips have resulted in positive interventions with students for a variety of problems.

  • ACT – Acknowledge-Care-Tell. This acronym is taught in SOS. All secondary schools have been given banners to publicize the importance of informing an adult of all worrisome behaviors.

  • Suicide Intervention Protocols are completed by psychologists, social workers and counselors should a student make suicidal statements to peers or an adult. Based on the assessment, appropriate follow up resources are given to the family. This protocol was recently revised and endorsed by Living Works, Inc to align with Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) language and processes.

  • Second Wind Fund is sponsored by the Second Wind Fund of Metro Denver and supports students who may be at risk of suicide by providing free therapy sessions.

  • District Crisis Team support – in the event of a suicide attempt or completed suicide, District Crisis Team members provide support and evidence-based suicide prevention and postvention services for schools.

  • Advisement Activities designed to inform students about the signs of suicide and how to respond appropriately are available for high school students.

  • Starfish Grief Support Groups are available to all Douglas County families touched by suicide or other deaths.

  • Sources of Strength – this comprehensive program designed for high school students, trains staff and students about what to look for and how to deal with potentially suicidal persons.

  • More Than Sad – The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention developed DVD’s for students and staff dealing with teen depression and suicide.

Services for Staff

  • Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is an internationally recognized “gatekeeper” program designed to give adults skills to be more comfortable, confident and competent in helping prevent the immediate risk of suicide. To date, over 500 area adults have been trained. This includes more than 80 percent of DCSD counselors, psychologists and social workers. In addition, self-selected high school students have also begun to take the training.

  • The School Suicide Prevention Specialist - one adult at each of our secondary schools and District Crisis Team members completed the certification process offered by American Association of Suicidology.

  • ASIST “Tune Up’s” – are offered for those who have completed the two day ASIST workshop and desire a “refresher”.

  • Working Minds – this suicide prevention program is designed to equip those in the workplace to recognize the warning signs of suicide and how to respond. This training can be as short as one hour or up to three hours.

Services for the Community

  • DCSD is part of the Douglas County Suicide Prevention Alliance. This interagency group shares local suicide statistics, resources and programs that educate our community on the signs of suicide and how to solicit support.

  • A comprehensive protocol for transporting and assessing suicidal adults and students has been developed by local law enforcement agencies, DCSD and area hospitals.

  • Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is available to all community members interested in suicide prevention for a nominal fee.

Related Articles

Suicide is Preventable - Here's How to Help

Many people may not realize that suicide is the second leading cause of death for middle and high school-aged students, as reported by American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This is surpassed only by “unintentional injury.” Suicide is preventable, though. Four out of five teens who attempted to end their lives have given clear warning signs or “invitations” to those around them to engage. That means that in 80 percent of cases, we have an opportunity to intervene and save a young person’s life. Read more


Suicide Prevention in Our Schools

A fairly new partnership between DCSD’s Prevention & School Culture team and Douglas County Teen Court coordinators is providing a new path for youth offenders, and Sources of Strength— now present in most DCSD high schools and some middle schools— is establishing a healthy culture and climate with the goal of catching youth long before they fall into unhealthy behaviors or consider taking their own lives. Read more


The Role of Social Media

Two teens in neighboring school districts recently took their own lives. Both boys posted on social media just before their deaths, panicking friends who tried to help but could not save them. Read more



What Happens When You Call for Help?

One of the concerns that prevents individuals from speaking up when they are having suicidal thoughts is the fear of what happens next. The mystery of how that plays out can be scary. Read more

Alcohol and other drug use among our nation’s youth remains a major public health problem

Substance use and abuse can increase the risk for injuries, violence, HIV infection, and other diseases.

Drug Abuse Can Begin Young
According to the The Partnership at, 90 percent of drug and alcohol addictions begin in the teenage years.

Additionally, research cited by Halzelden, an addiction treatment center, indicates that adolescents who begin drinking before age 14 are significantly more likely to experience alcohol dependence at some point in their lives compared to individuals who begin drinking after 21 years of age. In addition, youth who drink alcohol are more likely to experience a number of negative consequences, such as physical or sexual assault, unintentional injuries, memory problems, legal problems, and impaired school performance.

The primary goal of prevention is to delay the first use of alcohol or other drugs.  That's why delaying the age of first use of alcohol and drugs is a critical goal of prevention. Other protective factors, especially proactive parenting and strong family bonds, can help delay adolescents' experimentation with drugs and alcohol and thus help reduce long-term problems.

Experimenting Can Lead to Drug Abuse
Often drug abuse begins small. Experimenting with alcohol, marijana or prescription drugs may seem harmless enough at the beginning. Soon, however, the addicitive nature of these items can act as a gateway to increased use, dependence and more dangerous substances. These behaviors can lead to accidents, legal trouble and serious health issues.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office says that prescription drugs have become the second most abused drug, above marijuana.

READ MORE: Prescription drugs often the gateway to harder drugs

Not Everyone is Doing It
Peer pressure can be excruciatingly intense, especially when the message is about having fun. Many teens feel compelled to drink, do drugs and engage in other risky behaviors, because they feel like “everyone else is doing it” or that it is just a part of having a good time.

A number of studies have shown that the overestimation of peer alcohol and cigarette use is widespread among students of middle and high school. Other research has found that overestimation of peer use is a significant predictor of adolescent cigarette and alcohol use, and that adolescent onset of use can be significantly delayed by reducing misperceptions of alcohol and cigarette use among peers.

Parents & Trusted Adults Make a Difference
While peer pressure can be difficult for teens to resist, consistant and pervasive messages from the adults in their lives can make a huge difference. It is important that the same message about substance abuse prevention be delivered repeatedly by multiple sources in our young people's lives, including parents, school and the community.

According to the Partnership at, kids who learn a lot about the risks of drugs and alcohol from their parents are up to 50% less likely to use than those who do not.

Parent Tips: Prevention

Help your teen stay safe and make healthy choices by:
  • Talking and listening regularly
  • Being directly involved in your child’s everyday world
  • Making it clear that you do not want him or her drinking or using drugs
  • Setting limits

Source: Partnership at

Take Action
If you think or know that your child is using drugs or alcohol-- it is important to move quickly.

Casual or experimental drug use can quickly turn into drug abuse.

Parent Tips: Intervention

If you are at all concerned about your child – or even just have a bad feeling – you can and should intervene by:
  • Setting tighter limits with clear consequences
  • Getting outside help and support if necessary
  • Having productive conversations with your child -- remain calm, share your concerns and listen.
  • Closely monitoring your child's behavior and activities

Source: The Partnership at

Metro Crisis Line

Metro Crisis Services offers a hotline for those struggling with a mental or emotional problem, getting into trouble with drugs or alcohol, having family or relationship problems, or problems at work or school. Support and guidance is free and confidential.

Parents Toll-Free Helpline
1-855-DRUGFREE (1-855-378-4373)

Partnership at offers a hotline to help parents struggling with how to handle their child's substance abuse. It is open Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Mountain Time.