Posted April 3, 2023
Denver Public Schools recognizes that effective learning and teaching takes place in a safe, secure and welcoming environment. Together, we advocate, collaborate and educate students to foster resilience and belonging for all students. Unfortunately, students can be impacted by unexpected crisis events.
In response to the recent shooting that occurred at East High School, DPS provides guidance on how to support those impacted to recover a sense of physical and psychological safety. Common reactions to crisis events may include, but are not limited to:
It is important for parents and caregivers to continue to monitor their child’s needs. Remember to check for signs of depression. Adults should be present, provide space to talk, and answer questions to support a sense of physical and psychological safety. Remind children to engage in healthy coping strategies and continue to talk with their trusted adults. Below is a list of handouts to support parents and caregivers in the discussion to support a successful recovery after a crisis.
There may be times that children and youth require additional support from community agencies. Below is a list of common community resources.
Colorado Crisis Services (English/Spanish)
Description: Colorado Crisis Services is the statewide behavioral health crisis response system offering residents mental health, substance use or emotional crisis help, information and referrals. Its mission is to strengthen Colorado’s mental health system by providing Coloradans with greater access to crisis services wherever they are at 24/7/365 regardless of ability to pay.Offers walk-in centers around the Denver-metro area and provides free and confidential services. Phone: 1-844-493-8255. Crisis Text Line at 1-844-493-8255.
Mental Health Center of Denver (Multiple Languages)
Description: WellPower provides programs and services for the entire lifespan. Services include Child & Family, Teen & Young Adult and Adult services. Therapy Direct provides quick access to a counselor for a full 55-minute, online session – no medical insurance needed. We welcome all metro Denver residents ages 18 years and up, including those new to counseling. TherapyDirect is available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Other services can be accessed here.
I Matter Colorado (English/Spanish)
Description: The I Matter program can connect youth with a therapist for up to 6 free virtual counseling sessions (some in-person appointments available, too) that are completely confidential. Services can be accessed here.
Second Wind Fund (English/Spanish)
Description: Provides youth ages 19 and younger access to 12 free counseling sessions. Referrals can be completed by parents and school mental health providers. Contact Information. Referral Webpage
988-Suicide and Cirisis Lifeline (English/Spanish/DHH)
Description: 988 has been designated as the new three-digit dialing code that will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (now known as the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline). When people call, text, or chat 988, they will be connected to trained counselors that are part of the existing Lifeline network. These trained counselors will listen, understand how their problems are affecting them, provide support, and connect them to resources if necessary.
Additional District and School Supports
Crises can often result in educational, psychological, physical, and social repercussions. Schools provide access to mental health providers that include school psychologists, school social workers, school counselors, and school nurses. School mental health teams continue to monitor the needs of children and youth and respond with a Handle with Care approach. Parents and caregivers may call their school’s main office to request to be connected with the school mental health team.
School Based Health Clinics
DPS partners with Denver Health School-Based Health Clinics in schools located across the district. Medical providers assist with non-urgent medical questions, medical refills and help connect students to other Denver Health resources including mental health services. Students/families needing care can call the Denver Health School-Based Health Center Line at 303-602-8958 to access care. Locations of school-based health care clinics can be found here.
If families and caregivers need additional support or assistance in accessing resources, please contact the DPS Family and Community Helpline at 720-423-3054 or FACEHelpline@dpsk12.org.