Regarding 13 Reasons Why 2

Dear Englewood Families,

The Mental Health Teams in Englewood Schools work hard to identify students who may be experiencing suicidal ideation and to put in place interventions and supports for safety. Part of this work is increasing awareness about community events that may lead to possible contagion with our youth.

We are writing to inform you about an update regarding Netflix series that debuted last year titled 13 Reasons Why and its possible impact on our students. 13 Reasons Why gained popularity among youth last year and may increase suicidal ideation or attempts, including Englewood students. On May 18, 2018, Netflix will be releasing Season 2 of this program. While it remains unclear whether the main topics covered in Season 2 will expand beyond suicide, we, as Mental Health Teams, wanted to be mindful that as the end of the year approached, we provide you with resources to best support your student over summer break.

By the way of background, the show is based on a novel and the story of a 17-year-old girl who takes her own life. She leaves behind 13 recordings explaining the reasons why she chose to commit suicide. While the show brings up the importance to talk about suicidal thoughts, it portrays situations where youth are dealing with serious issues from bullying to sexual assault, without getting support from adults. Unlike some of the adults in 13 Reasons Why, the Mental Health Teams in Englewood Schools are all trained in suicide prevention and supports and take all reports EXTREMELY seriously.  

While the efforts we are taking in Englewood Schools are important, what you do as a parent/guardian is as equally important. The most important thing YOU can do as a parent/guardian is TALK to your student about what they can do if they themselves or a friend is expressing thoughts about hurting themselves.

Please consider the age and developmental stage of your student before allowing them to watch 13 Reasons Why. We do NOT recommend that students with a history of suicidal thoughts, depression or mental health concerns watch this program. If you allow your child to watch this series, we recommend you watch it with them and engage them in discussion afterwards.

If your student has warning signs of depression or suicide, don’t be afraid to ask if they have thoughts about suicide. Raising the issue of suicide does not increase the risk. Instead, it decreases the risk by providing an opportunity for help.

Always take warning signs seriously - common warning signs include:

  • Suicide threats, both direct (“ I am going to kill myself.” “I need life to stop.”) and indirect (“I need it to stop.” “I wish I could fall asleep and never wake up.”). Threats can be verbal or written, and they are often found in online postings.
  • Seeking access to pills, weapons, or other means
  • Having rage, anger or seeking revenge
  • Acting recklessly or engaging in risky activities seemingly without thinking
  • Giving away prized possessions.
  • Preoccupation with death in conversation, writing, drawing and social media.
  • Changes in behavior, appearance/hygiene, thoughts, and/or feelings. This can include someone who is typically sad who suddenly becomes extremely happy.
  • Emotional distress. (www.MentalHealthFirstAid.org)

Students who feel suicidal are not likely to seek help directly; however, parents, school personnel, and peers can recognize the warnings signs and take immediate action to keep the youth safe. When a student gives signs that they may be considering suicide, take the following actions:

  • Remain calm, be non-judgemental, and listen. Strive to understand the intolerable emotional pain that has resulted in suicidal thoughts.
  • Avoid statements that might be perceived as minimizing the student’s emotional pain (e.g. “You need to move on”, or “You should get over it.”).
  • Ask the student directly if they are thinking about suicide, (i.e. “Are you thinking of suicide?”) (www.MentalHealthFirstAid.org)
  • Focus on your concern for their well-being and avoid being accusatory.
  • Provide constant supervision. Do not leave the student alone.
  • Without putting yourself in danger, remove means for self-harm, including any weapons the person might have or find.
  • GET IMMEDIATE HELP: you can always call 911, Colorado Crisis Services Hotline or take your child to the nearest emergency room, especially during non-school hours or over summer break.

While the school year is quickly coming to a close, rest assured that the Englewood Schools Mental Health Team staff continues to work diligently to support your student surrounding ALL socio-emotional concerns. If your child is in need of assistance, please reach out to your school mental health staff listed below:

School

Counselor/Psychologist

Phone #

Email Address

Bishop Elementary

Kim Fickas (Psychologist)

303.806.2406

kim_fickas@engschools.net

Charles Hay World School

Elly Baker (Psychologist)

303.806.2431

elly_baker@engschools.net

Charles Hay World School

Morgan Delaney (Counselor)

303.806.2517

morgan_delaney@engschools.net

Clayton Elementary

Stephanie Jones (Psychologist)

303.806.2490

stephanie_jones@engschools.net

Clayton Elementary

Kelly Fries (Counselor)

303.806.6820

kelly_fries@engschools.net

Cherrelyn Elementary

Melissa Bachmann (Psychologist)

303.806.2541

melissa_bachmann@engschools.net

Colorado Finest High School of Choice

Kat Roybal (Counselor)

303.806.2519

katherine_roybal@engschools.net

Colorado Finest High School of Choice

Kathryn Brown (Counselor)

303.806.2537

kathryn_brown@engschools.net

Colorado Finest High School of Choice

Jen Studt (Counselor)

303.806.6821

jen_studt@engschools.net

Englewood Middle School

Lori Lauer (Psychologist)

303.806.6805

lori_lauer@engschools.net

Englewood Middle School

Lynn Renter (Counselor)

303.806.6850

lynn_renter@engschools.net

Englewood High School

Patrick Maschka (Psychologist)

303.806.2342

patrick_maschka@engschools.net

Englewood High School

 

303.806.2222

dawn_cominsky@engschools.net

Englewood High School

Mary Abbott (Counselor)

303.806.2220

mary_abbott@engschools.net

 

Colorado Mental Health Resources

  • Colorado Crisis Services 844-493-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 38255
  • Safe To Tell Colorado - Submit an anonymous report - https://safe2tell.org/students or 1-877-542-7233
  • Mental Health Center of Arapahoe County: http://www.co.arapahoe.co.us/1606/Mental-Health
  • AllHealth Network: 303.730.8858
  • Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault: 303-839-9999
  • If your family has medical insurance, that is also a great resource for your student to receive mental health services. Call the number located on your medical insurance card for more information regarding location and providers.

     

National Mental Health Resources

 

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