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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

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It may look like a plain, white shipping container was just parked on the backyard grounds of Mountain Vista High School. The contents of the container are anything but plain, though. Walking inside the container, different colors of ambient lighting glow, futuristic-looking equipment and tall towers are suspended from the ceiling, and the humidity level is set to 70 percent. The container has been recycled into a new kind of learning opportunity for students.