Sources of Strength: Students address suicide problem

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT) -- Students are hoping to tackle the issue of suicide on the Western Slope through a program called Sources of Strength.

"In general, we don't really talk about it (suicide) all that often,” Cambrie Holman, a sophomore at Central High School, said. “I think that we should, because a lot of people put a negative connotation on suicide and depression, but if we really talk about it we can make it something positive and stories of strength, instead of stories of trauma."

The program's goal is to arm students with the tools to help each other, by giving them the vocabulary to start a discussion about suicide, and help them recognize when someone around them needs help. After all, they say there's no better group to address the problem than the one directly impacted.

"Us as kids, we talk to each other about it but we never talk to people above us because we're too scared,” Gia Colosimo, Junior at Central High School. “Until we actually decide to address it and solve the problems nothing is ever going to change and kids are going to stay in their same ways and feel like they have nobody to help them."

Students in larger schools are four times more likely to refer a suicidal person to an adult if they have been through the SOS program, according to their website.

KKCO 11 News is airing a series on youth suicide. As we air our series we will also be reminding you of the resources available to help if you or someone you know is in crisis.

Safe2Tell allows you to report someone you think might be in trouble or going through a crisis anonymously through an app, online or (877)542-7233.

There is also a crisis text line you can use around the nation. All you have to do is text "CO" to 741741.

You can also call the national lifeline. That number is 1-(800)-273-TALK.

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