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The Denver Post launches project to investigate teen suicides in Colorado — and we need your help

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The Denver Post launches project to investigate teen suicides in Colorado — and we need your help

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This story was produced as a project for the 2019 National Fellowship, a program of USC Annenberg's Center for Health Journalism.

Jessica Seaman
Monday, September 9, 2019

This year, multiple high school students have died by suicide. A Florida teen, who authorities said was “infatuated” with the Columbine High School massacre, came to Colorado and killed herself as her presence in the state closed hundreds of schools. 

And then, just a few weeks later, STEM School Highlands Ranch became the scene of Colorado’s latest school shooting as two students fired on their classmates, killing one and injuring others. Authorities say the youngest suspect planned to kill himself after the attack. 

These events are recent examples of how the rise in teen suicide is affecting communities in Colorado, but it’s been an issue for some time, with suicide now the leading cause of death for teens and children in this state. And that’s why The Denver Post is launching this project, with the support from USC Annenberg’s Center for Health Journalism through the school’s National Fellowship and a grant from the Fund for Journalism on Child Well-Being.

Between 2015 and 2017, there were 533 suicides by individuals between the ages of 10 and 24 years old, up from 340 deaths between 2003 and 2005, according to a state report. That same report identified risk factors for teen suicide, such as pressure to perform well in school and society.

But how well do we understand the rise in teen suicides?

We believe these issues need to be investigated further and want your help to understand the rise in teen suicides and what can be done to address the issue.

We invite you to share your stories with us. We also invite you to help us with ideas for our coverage as we seek to keep the conversation going. You can reach Jessica at jseaman@denverpost.com or call or message via Signal at 303-954-1593.

You can also fill out our source form if you want to help us investigate youth suicide in Colorado.

[This article was originally published by The Denver Post.]