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Suicide is the leading cause of death for young people – CDC

Colorado’s teen suicide rate jumped from 2017-2019

Across the country, youth suicide is up the past 3 years

Then there is the statistic that took my breath away:

“Acute conflict with parental figures precedes 40% of teen suicide cases.”

I had to dive in. This is a public health crisis. More personally, as a mother of six teens and young adults, I needed more insight into what we as parents can do to help protect our kids from such heartbreak.

A team of youth and I conducted a research

project during the summer of 2019.

We asked teens:

We surveyed parents and interviewed mental health professionals.

We learned a lot about parent-teen relationships. I had my flight and hotel booked, ready to present this research at the annual conference the International Family Therapy Association in Basel, Switzerland in mid-March, 2020. It was COVID-cancelled. I am looking for ways to share what I learned with 1) mental health professionals and 2) parents of teens. If you are interested in learning more, please reach out to me. I am also applying learnings from this research in my “Family Alchemy” model of family therapy. I am determined to help families reduce conflict between parents and teens.

Meet the Research Team

Kerry Stutzman

Marriage & Family Therapist · Parenting Educator · Mother

Anabelle Adams

University of Illinois · Analyst at CMD Global

Maggie Wright

Emory University · Research advisor

Haley Hammond

Heather Rynders

2019 Arapahoe H.S. graduate · Ministry Intern at Red Rocks Community Church

Vara Tummala

2019 graduate of Arapahoe H.S. · Headed to the University of Arizona

Amanda Brice

2020 University of Denver graduate in biology · UCD Anschutz for Master of Public Health in epidemiology