Supporting students and families
PSD's Mental Health Team offers a comprehensive approach to serving students and families by blending school resources with community resources. School-based and school-linked programs provide students with early intervention, crisis intervention, prevention and treatment to address their specific needs.
The Mental Health Team:
- Offers overall mental health support to students and their families
- Provides students access to mental health services and other resources both within PSD and in the community, reducing barriers to services
- Responds to crisis situations with students, schools and within the PSD community
- Trains and educates student groups to support their peers (see QPR Suicide Prevention Training).
- Supports and trains staff on all mental health issues like grief and loss, QPR Suicide Prevention and Trauma Informed Lens for Educator training
Working with students and families
The connection: Students are usually referred to a PSD mental health specialist by a teacher or staff member, who has identified them as someone who might benefit from additional support. The student might be struggling with a family crisis, experiencing a loss or dealing with another personal or overwhelming issue.
Working together: The mental health specialist works with the student and their family to identify what the issue is and connects them to the appropriate resources both within PSD and within the community to address their needs.
Services provided to a student include:
- Initial consultation
- Assessment of need and identification of the issue
- Review of services or supports already in place
- Connection to appropriate services
- Ongoing support
- Follow-up and evaluation
The goal: To address the child's/family's immediate and long-term needs and help them reach a stable place emotionally so the child can access and continue their education successfully.
Students in immediate crisis: If a mental health specialist is contacted about a student expressing suicidal thoughts or experiencing another immediate crisis that involves their safety, parents are contacted immediately and included while a plan and team of support are organized for the student. How you can help your child if they're talking about suicide or depression is listed under Parent Resources on this page or on the PSD Suicide Prevention web page.
Parent support, tips and resources
Resources are available in the green boxes on the right side of this web page.
How you can offer overall support for your child:
- Keep communication open by checking in with your child routinely (ask them how their day was, what they learned at school, what they're looking forward to tomorrow, etc?)
- If you're having difficulty connecting with your child, ask them how they would like you to communicate with them
- Be aware of your child's behavior and any changes in behavior (see Warning signs below)
- Seek help or resources if you have questions or if you feel your child or family needs support from outside services.
- Attend a PSD QPR Suicide Prevention Training to learn how you can identify and help someone at risk for suicide.
Warning signs that may signal your child is struggling with an issue:
- Uncharacteristic behavior
- Changes in friendships or isolation
- Drop in academic performance
- Loss of interest in activities
- Personality change
- Excessive sleeping
How to help your child or teen if they're talking about depression or suicide. Here are immediate steps you should take:
- Never leave a suicidal individual alone.
- Acknowledge that you are taking them seriously.
- Let them know that you are accessing resources to help keep them safe.
- Assure them that you will be with them through the process.
Utilize these resources:
- Community Crisis Center, available 24/7, 1217 Riverside Avenue, Fort Collins, 494-4200. Offer 24/7 availability for crisis concerns, including suicide assessments.
- Crisis Assessment Center, located in the Emergency Department of PVH/UCH, Lemay campus, 1024 S. Lemay, Fort Collins, CO, 970-495-8090. Call with crisis concerns and suicide assessments.
(This listing is provided as a public service only. PSD does not endorse or recommend one organization over another.)