Parents - Alliance for Suicide Prevention of Larimer County

Suicide Prevention: A Parent’s Guide

Why talk about suicide?

Suicide is the leading cause of death for youths in Colorado. Parents, primary caregivers and family members are often a students’ best supporters. They care deeply about their student, and they are invested in continuing to see this young person grow and thrive. While having open and honest conversations about suicide can be challenging, it is crucial for preventing suicide and supporting the mental health and well-being of your child. By being supportive and proactive, you can help your child feel heard, understood, and empowered to seek help when they need it.

Myths & Facts

What are teens saying…

We talk to teens across Larimer county. They have told us that they really do think about mental health differently. 

Let’s look at the myths that we adults still believe that kids just don’t. 

Issues Teens Face

Teens face challenges with peers, pressure and puberty…

We asked teens what they wish adults knew about teen mental health…their answers…

I wish parents would listen and not try to fix everything.

I’m not exaggerating!

It is not always the phone’s fault.

As a parent, you can approach suicide prevention in the same way you do other safety or health issues for your children. By educating yourself, you can learn what puts kids at greatest risk for suicide – and what protects them most strongly.

The good news is that suicide is largely preventable. Early identification, timely treatment and support from families, schools, friends and communities play key roles.

We asked students: What do you wish adults knew about teen mental health? These are some of their responses…




Create a supportive and non-judgmental environment where teens feel comfortable talking about their feelings and experiences. This involves actively listening to their concerns, validating their emotions, offering empathy and understanding, WITHOUT trying to fix them or their problem.
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Get Help

Get help

Parents can also help teenagers access professional help, such as therapy or counseling, if needed. This may involve researching mental health resources in their community, talking to their teen's doctor, or working with their school to provide support.
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Promote Wellness

Promote Wellness

In addition, parents can help promote good mental health habits, such as encouraging regular exercise, healthy eating, and good sleep habits. They can also help reduce stress and anxiety by encouraging downtime, limiting screen time, and promoting relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation.
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Be Present

Be There

Ultimately, the most important thing parents can do to help teenagers with mental health issues is to be present, supportive, and understanding. By offering a safe and supportive space for their teens to explore their emotions and seek help when needed, parents can play a critical role in promoting good mental health and overall well-being.
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Get Trained

QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) is a suicide prevention training program that teaches individuals how to recognize the warning signs of suicide, ask someone if they are thinking about suicide, persuade them to get help, and refer them to appropriate resources.

For parents, being trained in QPR can be a powerful tool in helping their children and other young people in their lives. By understanding the warning signs of suicide and knowing how to approach the topic with sensitivity and care, parents can create a supportive and safe environment for their children to seek help when needed.

QPR training can also help parents feel more confident and prepared to respond to a crisis situation, which can ultimately help save lives. Overall, the importance of being trained in QPR cannot be overstated, as it can provide parents with the skills and knowledge they need to effectively support the mental health and well-being of their children and other young people in their lives. Click here for more information on QPR trainings

Want to do a community REPLY (Resiliency Education Protecting the Lives of Youth) training with other families and their kids, or are you part of a youth organization and want to be trained in suicide prevention? Contact one of our Program Directors, Traci Sandoval  or Dawn Kirk.

LGBTQ+ specific trainings contact Out Boulder.

Local Resources

I Matter Colorado provides all Colorado youth with up to 6 virtual counseling sessions for free. Parents, seeking support for your child is not a sign of failure—it’s a sign of strength.

Larimer County Behavorial Health Servies at Longview Campus in partnership with  SummitStone Health Partners is the largest behavioral health provider in Larimer County, offering a range of mental health services, including therapy, counseling, and psychiatric care. Mobile crisis response 24/7/365 call 970-484-4200. Need Urgent Care? visit 2260 W. Trilby Road, Fort Collins, CO 80526 7 am – midnight.

Imagine Fort Collins assists 13- to 17-year-olds struggling with behavioral & mental health conditions. 

ChildSafe Colorado  offers sliding scale individual and group therapy designed to meet the emotional and educational needs of patients and their families. 

Charlie Health provides personalized mental healthcare for teens and young adults. 

Robbie’s Hope provides resources for teens and parents/caretakers.  Robbie’s Hope Adult Handbook written by teens for adults on how to talk to teens.

Not sure what you need…Call CAYAC! Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Connections (CAYAC) team helps provide answers, options, and support to help families find care that meets their unique concerns.