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.
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
Need support now? If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available - call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org.
People who call or text the 988 number are connected to a trained counselor at a crisis center closest to them. If a local crisis center is too busy to respond right away, the call gets routed to one of 16 backup centers around the country.
More about the 988 crisis lifeline:
- 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - 988 suicide & crisis lifeline
- Federal Communications Commission overview about 988
I Matter offers youth free therapy sessions
Colorado youth and their parents can visit IMatterColorado.org and YoImportoColorado.org to take a confidential online survey about their mental health and schedule sessions with a licensed behavioral health clinician.
The I Matter program provides up to six free mental health sessions with a licensed provider and is open to youth 18 years of age or younger, or 21 years of age or younger if receiving special education services. Per state law, youth 12 and older can consent to therapy. Parents of youth 11 and younger will need to take the survey and consent to services for their youth. Learn more on the I Matter website or at YoImportoColorado.org.
Additional services: The listing below is provided as a public service only. PSD does not endorse or recommend one organization over another. Please visit their websites for information about specific hours, locations, complete services and contact information.
- SummitStone Health Partners and Community Crisis Center - Crisis, family mental health, substance abuse services and counseling available. Call 970-494-4200 for all services and for mobile crisis counselors in Larimer County (available 24/7/365).
- Mental Health Connections - Offers information and support on mental health and substance abuse issues. Call 970- 221-5551. Child, Adolescent and Young Adult Connections services also available.
- Healthinfosource.com - Lists mental health and substance use providers and resources in the community.
- UCHealth Crisis Assessment Center - Emergency Department of PVH/UCH, Lemay campus. Call 970-495-8090 with crisis concerns and for suicide assessments
- Alliance for Suicide Prevention of Larimer County - Offers information about suicide, including facts, warning signs, community resources, grief support groups and more. This is not a crisis service.
- Colorado Crisis Services - To talk with someone, call 1-844-493-8255 or text 'talk' to 38255.