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Mental Health Center of Denver launches new suicide prevention program

The Mental Health Center of Denver launched its STAY SAFE partnership at the start of National Suicide Prevention Week.

DENVER — As National Suicide Prevention Week begins, the Mental Health Center of Denver is starting a program to support teens and youth.

The Supporting Teens and Youth through Safety and Family Empowerment, or STAY SAFE, Partnership is an intensive suicide prevention program for youths ages 12-19 who have experienced a recent suicide attempt or severe suicidal ideation, the center said.

The center said it's the first program of its kind in Colorado.

“The availability of inpatient services, as well as intensive services after hospital discharges, has decreased in recent years. This shortage can make accessing care difficult,” said Bonnie Graham, program manager with the center's child and family services. “That’s why we want to make sure people are aware of suicide prevention information and resources we offer for both critical and less urgent situations.”

STAY SAFE offers a variety of services for youth and families, including therapy, psychiatry, medication, case management and family support. Intensive services are provided for an average of two to four hours a week for four to six weeks, the center said.

The partnership was created with funds from the Caring for Denver Foundation.

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The Mental Health Center of Denver also offers other suicide prevention resources.

“Well-being is a constantly shifting continuum, especially for young people,” said Carl Clark, the center's president and CEO. “With the pandemic and today’s societal stresses, our young people can experience a very high level of anxiety."

The Mental Health Center of Denver can be contacted at 303-704-7900 or at this link.

Also, Colorado Crisis Services offers access to trained counselors 24/7 by calling 844-493-TALK (8255), texting TALK to 38255 or visiting the Denver Walk-In Center at 4353 E. Colfax Ave. Anyone in an emergency, should call 911.

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