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B77602971F603C18872583B5004FF549 Hearing Summary


Date Mar 6, 2019      
Location Old State Library

Presentations on Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention - Committee Discussion Only

07:33:23 AM  

Senator Todd, chair, invited the first presenters to the table.  Dr. Sarah Davidon, Research Director and Director of Child and Adolescent Strategy, Mental Health Colorado, and Sarah Brummett, Director of the Office of Suicide Prevention, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, came to the table.  Dr. Davidon provided a definition of social and emotional health and discussed the importance of intervening in children's mental health before it hits a point of crisis.  She stated that mental health interferes with a child's learning, behavior, ability to handle emotions and social and academic situations.  She said that one in five children suffer from a severe mental illness and that we need to look at ways to intervene and offer help and support earlier.  She provided Colorado-specific data and stated that prevention and early intervention can dramatically improve mental health and wellness.  Dr. Davidon talked about early childhood brain development and the need for universal mental health screening.  She stated that school mental health services are vital to increasing and sustaining mental health and discussed the importance of positive connections between students and adults, positive school culture, the ability to build resilience, and collaborations between schools, community health providers, and other community services

07:44:30 AM  

Dr. Davidon discussed the advocacy work being done by Mental Health Colorado, as well as the need to expand the framework of the zero suicide inititiative by expanding into the K-12 system in addition to healthcare systems.  She said that mental health must be a part of an overall wellness system in schools, and that schools must have access to trauma-informed training and mental health wellness for teachers and staff.  She said that students are six times more likely to access mental health services in schools as opposed to in the community.  Dr. Davidon answered questions from the committee.

07:52:54 AM  

Dr. Davidon continued to answer questions from the committee.

07:59:08 AM  

Ms. Brummett began her presentation and distributed two handouts to the committee (Attachments A and B).  She spoke about the need to focus on prevention strategies and provided Colorado-specific data on suicide, the economic impacts of suicide, the disproportionate impact of suicide on males versus females in Colorado, and stated that suicide is the number one or two leading cause of death in young people up to the age of 34.  Ms. Brummett spoke about factors that can reduce youth suicide attempts and discussed her office's activities, including the suicide prevention commission established in 2014.  She discussed in further detail the Zero Suicide Framework which, she explained, is a paradigm shift for how care is delivered by a system.  She spoke about further training for all mental health providers in the framework, and updated the committee on Senate Bill 18-272, which created school grants for suicide prevention and crisis response.  Ms. Brummett answered questions from the committee.

08:19:16 AM  

Ms. Brummett and Dr. Davidon continued to answer questions from the committee.

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