Boulder schools share resources to address youth mental health crisis

CBS News Colorado is working with MTV in May to promote “Mental Health is Health”.

Having open conversations about our emotional health is one important step to ensuring each of us can thrive.

At a time when many young people are struggling, families in the Boulder Valley School District got together to share ideas and resources.

Alana Morales, Boulder High School’s principal, said “it is really hard. And we’re all in this together. So thank you for being here tonight.”

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CBS


It’s common for parents to feel lost and worried when their kids are struggling with their mental health. 

Christopher Uhlig lost a son to suicide. “He was 16 years old and I’m here to spread the awareness to make sure mental health is not an issue that gets swept under the carpet or that no one talks about,” Uhlig said, “And I think if there would have been openness about it, he would have been able to talk to someone and that might have changed the outcome. We never know.”   

On the night they gathered last month, the Boulder students and recent grads shared some of the sources of their anxiety and triggers for depression.

A Boulder schools alum who preferred to only use her first name, Maya, said “they don’t have a very good space to process a lot of the very large things that are going on politically and globally. And I think that there’s a lot of people, parents and kids that are very overwhelmed.” 

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CBS


Everyone can play a role removing the stigma around mental health. Maya added, “Especially to parents, I would say that acknowledging your own mental health is extremely important. Your kids are very perceptive, and they’re going to pick up on what you’re doing and use you as an example.”

The conversation was organized by the Impact on Education, the foundation for Boulder Valley Schools.

Funds meant to bridge a gap in support for public schools – are now being directed to addressing a youth mental health crisis unlike anything seen before.

Allison Billings, executive director of Impact on Education, said “I hope we can let them know that it’s not all on them. That the schools have resources that our community has resources and that we can all come together and help the students and the youth and think of them all as our kids”.

The link to the mental health supports provided to Boulder Schools families is accessible here

If you or someone you know needs help, you can call the national 9-8-8 hotline and talk to someone for free.