COLORADO SPRINGS – In this Your Healthy Family we’re focusing on teen mental health in our community. This Friday night June 21st, Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention is hosting an art show called, “Live Your Story”.
Kim Severn, PhD, is currently an instructor at in the Counseling and Human Services Department at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, and a member of the Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention Board of Directors.
Kim says, “We have a lot of art that’s been donated from people around the community. We also have a lot of art that has been done by teenagers in the community.”
These pieces will be auctioned off Friday night, and every dollar raised will go to support teens in crisis in our community through the valuable work Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention does year around.
Kim says, “At Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention we have several programs that we run, and they are all free. They are mostly for teenagers and we have several different groups. One is called Draw It Out, where teens come and it’s just a nice safe place for them to explore their feelings. Whether they’re struggling with self-harm and cutting, or if they’re having suicidal ideation. We also have our teen board where we bring teenagers from around the community in and ask them what is going on. We want their input to inform our programs, and our policies and procedures. We want to know what is going on in the community, so that we as the adults can help.”
Kim has been a school counselor at every level and was working at Discovery Canyon Campus High School in 2016, when teen suicides hit crisis level. Much has been done since then to turn the crisis around but Kim says the efforts to prevent suicide can never stop or take a break.
Kim explains, “I love it when we talk about suicide prevention, and intervention. We also talk about postvention after a suicide, especially after a cluster like we saw in 2016. What wraps around that, is the best postvention is good prevention, and that’s something we need to keep working on. We need to still be doing all of the amazing programs that we founded after the cluster. We need to be talking about it, we still need to be helping reduce the stigma of mental health. It’s not stopping and it’s not something that is going away.”
Helping continue the flow of life saving information to teens in our community will be directly supported by Friday night’s art show and auction.
Kim says important messages like, “It’s okay – to not be okay. You need to find your trusted adult. It doesn’t have to be a parent, it doesn’t have to be a school counselor, but find that person, and when things get bad reach out to that person.”
The show begins at 6:30 this Friday night at the Pikes Peak Market in Colorado Springs. Tickets are $10 dollars in advance on the Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention Facebook page, or $15 dollars at the door. News5’s Shayla Girardin will be emceeing the event, and we hope you will come out and support this worthy.
We all have to do our part. Kim says, “It really does take the whole community.”