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Your Healthy Family: Mental illness and teen suicide - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Your Healthy Family: Mental illness and teen suicide

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In the wake of more tragedies and more teen suicides in Academy School District 20, and in Pueblo since the first of the year, we here at News5 are are continuing our commitment to keep the conversation going on this difficult topic.  Our goal is to put a stop to teen suicide in our community.

Dr. Scott Poland, a licensed psychologist who is internationally recognized as an expert on youth suicide is one of the national experts D-20 is working with as they deal proactively with this crisis.  

News5 interviewed Dr. Poland for our one hour special on teen suicide back in December.  

Just last week News 5's Ira Cronin was corresponding with Dr. Poland who reminded him that anytime this happens people will begin searching for answers.

Dr. Poland said “There is no one, or no one thing to blame.  The emphasis right now must be on helping all concerned with their shock, grief and confusion.” Most importantly Dr. Poland says, “Adults need to model coping behaviors and optimism during this difficult time.”

And if you're looking for ways to start a conversation with your kids about the difficult topic of suicide Dr. Poland has this advice.  “Right now parents across all of this affected area need to find times when their child will truly talk with them.  They need to be a in a listening mode and they need to acknowledge what has happened.  You could say something like, ‘You know it isn't unusual to think about something like this, now that this has happened, have you ever had those thoughts? If you ever do please know that I am here for you every step of the way, and we will get you all the help you need.’  So it's a difficult and a scary time for parents.”

Our one hour special, Teen Suicide, Starting the Conversation, that covers important topics like warning signs, risk factors, steps parents should be taking and so much more can be seen here, Teen Suicide: Starting the Conversation

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