Wednesday’s school closure and the 20th anniversary of the Columbine tragedy have made for a very challenging week for our community. Anniversaries are always difficult, as is finding a way to sensitively talk about school violence with children. There are resources that can help.
“Seeking out mental health counseling is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength,” said Frank DeAngelis, who was the Columbine High School principal in 1999.
If you or anyone you know is struggling, there are several local and national resources available.
Resources in our Community
Jefferson Center is a nonprofit, community-focused mental health care and substance use services provider. They offer services to individuals and families who are struggling with mental health issues and substance use disorders.
Second Wind Fund will match children and youth at risk for suicide with licensed therapists in their communities. If a financial or social barrier to treatment is present, the Second Wind Fund will pay for up to 12 sessions of therapy from one of their specialized network providers.
National Association of School Psychologists provides tips and talking points on topics related to School Safety and Crisis including Talking to Children about Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers.
Below the Surface is a confidential text line. By texting talk to 38255 you will be immediately be put into contact with a master’s-level counselor 24/7.
Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado is a statewide agency with the purpose of preventing suicide and creating a resource network for those who are working to prevent suicide around the state. Their website provides a list of mental health and suicide prevention resources available in Jefferson County.
Colorado Crisis Services provides confidential and immediate support, 24/7.
Scholastic Magazine also has a page with advice about responding to tragedies.
Safe2Tell is program created to allow anybody to anonymously report anything that concerns or threatens their child, family, friends, or school community. To make an anonymous report please go to www.Safe2Tell.org, call 877-542-7233, or download the Safe2Tell app.
Additional resources can be located on the Safe2Tell Resources webpage. Topics include: bullying, mental health, suicide, trauma and children, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, parenting resources, and resources for children with disabilities.
Columbine Remembrance Events: A Time to Remember, a Time to Hope
Several events will be held this weekend.
Community Vigil – Friday, 4/19, 7:30 pm
A Community Vigil will be held on Friday, April 19 at 7:30 pm at the Columbine Memorial in Clement Park. The event is hosted by the Columbine Memorial Foundation.
No wax candles will be allowed to avoid damaging the monument. However, tea lights will be provided by Abiding Hope Church (while supplies last). Guests are also encouraged to use cell phone lights. More details are available at the Foundation’s website or on their Facebook page.
Columbine High School Day of Service – Saturday, 4/20
On Saturday, April 20, Columbine students and staff will spend the morning engaged in service projects and acts of kindness.
The projects and locations are restricted to CHS students and staff. Jeffco Schools and the Columbine community encourage everyone to also participate in service project of their own. Visit the Columbine Day of Service website to learn more.
20-Year Remembrance Service – Saturday, 4/20, 3-5 pm
This event is open to the public and will take place at Clement Park, at the soccer field east of the Columbine Library. It will include speakers, a video, music and more.
Parking is limited and shuttle service will be provided from the parking lot behind Burlington Coat Factory (across W. Bowles Ave. from the park).