TRENDS Podcast: Youth Mental Health Crisis And The Need For A Sense Of Belonging

The TRENDS podcast is a collaboration between the Community Foundation of Boulder County and KGNU. It dives deep into the community’s most pressing issues and explores the changes happening throughout Boulder County through the experiences of community members, especially those often rendered invisible by commercial media, to shed light on community challenges, solutions, and pathways forward for the county and the country.

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In this episode, we will be diving into the issue of youth mental health, especially after a sharp rise in young patients seeking help prompted several pediatric healthcare professionals in Colorado to declare a youth mental health state of emergency. KGNU spoke with some of these healthcare providers, as well as concerned community members who also work to ensure the well-being of our youth.

According to data from the United Health Foundation, in 2020 there were 19.8 teen deaths by suicide for every 100,000 teens between the ages of 15 and 19 in Colorado. This is significantly higher than the national suicide rate of 8.4 teens per 100k.

For Colorado, the teen suicide rate had been rising every year by over 11 percentage points in the four year of the pandemic. The pandemic has only made matters worse. In 2014, suicide accounted for 41% of teen deaths in Boulder County. While alarming, the rate has only gotten worse since then.

In this podcast episode, we will hear from mental health professionals, healers, counselors, and community activists about the current mental health crisis affecting our youth in Boulder County. Their teachings voice a common thread about the importance for our children to develop a sense of belonging within a community that will accept them as they are, where they will feel safe in feeling and expressing their emotions, where they can feel empowered and supported in the pursuit of their passions and dreams.

Listen to this TRENDS podcast episode below:

The TRENDS Podcast series is made possible with support from the KGNU Listener-Members and the Community Foundation for Boulder County.

In this TRENDS panel, we speak with Raul Galindo, a local therapist who teaches parenting classes for the Latinx communities in Longmont – Nurturing Parenting Classes. We also speak with Tammy Lawrence and Katie Romero, former high school counselors who are currently Directors of Student Support Services for BVSD. We’ll hear what the schools are doing to provide more support for our young students as well as about resources and solutions to address our children’s mental health.

Listen to the TRENDS panel for this episode below:

Watch the TRENDS panel for this episode below:

Boulder County Public Health Links and Resources:

Mental Health Partners

Colorado Crisis Services

Out Boulder County

The Trevor Project

Story Sources: