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Report: suicide rate among Colorado teenagers show decline in recent years

Suicide rate among Colorado teenagers show decline in recent years
Suicide rate among Colorado teenagers show decline in recent years 02:51

In the recent "Kids Count in Colorado" report, the rate of suicide among teenagers is steadily declining over recent years, with a sharp decline among older teenagers. The data, released by Colorado Children's Campaign, shows a sharp decline in suicides in 2022 compared to recent years.  

The data showed 56 teenagers and 17 younger children lost their lives by suicide in 2022. While the deaths are tragic and heartbreaking for those who knew the deceased, the number of deaths caused by suicide was significantly less than in previous years.   

"It is a very encouraging report to see data trending down for older adolescents. For a long time we saw increase rates of mental health and suicide. To see a bit of a dip is encouraging but we don't get to slow down our efforts," said Janelle Patrias, Manager of Mental Health Initiatives for Colorado State University.  


The report's data showed the number of young teenagers, ages 13-to-15, plateaued in 2022. However, older teenagers between 16 and 19 saw a sharp decline in suicides. The rate was more than 30% overall.  

Many older-teens are preparing to leave home for the first time, some even electing to attend a local college or university. At Colorado State in Fort Collins the staff has noticed recent college freshmen have been more aware of their mental health.  

"This generation of young people has a higher mental health literacy than generations we have seen before," Patrias said. "We are also seeing stigma reducing for this generation. A higher percentage of kids are coming in for care than we have seen before. And, that is great." 

For many first-year students who are in their teens, transitioning from life at home to life on campus can be overwhelming and stressful. That, mixed with the pressure of schooling, can amount to causing mental struggles for some students.  

"We try to get those messages in front of them early. We are coming into classrooms regularly," Patrias said. "We want to have a proactive approach. We want students to learn healthy coping, ways to take care of their stress throughout the semester rather than waiting for it to get to a point of crisis." 


Patrias said most older teenagers are still developing emotionally when they arrive on their respective college campus, underscoring why it is so important that mental health resources are still made available even as children become young adults.  

"We encourage folks to see asking for help as a sign of strength," Patrias said. "We believe it is extremely important. If students aren't well emotionally or physically, they can't take advantage of the full opportunities at an institute of higher education." 

The report also went into data on many issues that can impact a child's life. Some of those topics include family financial resources, bullying, drug and alcohol use and more. For more information visit here.

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