State launches Below the Surface campaign to combat teen suicide | SummitDaily.com

State launches Below the Surface campaign to combat teen suicide

The Colorado Department of Human Services Office of Behavioral Health is relaunching a campaign meant to help combat teen suicide. "Below the Surface" is a statewide campaign to reach teens navigating academic and social pressures, bullying, harassment, depression, anxiety and more to raise awareness of Colorado's Crisis Text Line.

The Colorado Crisis Text Line is a free, confidential text line that connects youth with trained counselors, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"The challenges that youth undergo are legitimate, such as relationship problems, school stress, family conflict, substance abuse and bullying," said Dr. Robert Werthwein, director of the Office of Behavioral Health. "In addition to that, youth are undergoing numerous physical, social and emotional changes."

According to the state's Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, 14 percent of Colorado youth admit to having made a suicide plan in the last year, and 8 percent of the state's youth have attempted suicide in the last year.

Below the Surface utilizes a blended marketing campaign based around the stories of real students who have been touched by suicide, reaching out via social media, posters and a new website (BelowTheSurfaceCO.com) among other platforms.

To utilize the Below the Surface resources and speak with a counselor, text "TALK" to 38255. Parties can also call the Colorado Crisis Service as 1-844-493-TALK. Chat services are also available from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. daily at ColoradoCrisisServices.org.

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"We know that youth who have an adult to go to for help are 3.5 times less likely to attempt suicide," said Werthwein. "Below the Surface will bolster our efforts to connect with Colorado youth who, unfortunately, may not feel equipped to handle stressful situations."

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