Bridge The Gap:

What Do Your Teens Wish You Knew?

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

Nursing student at University of Chicago Illinois.

Maggie Wright

Rising senior at Emory University studying Art History and business. 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. Headed to UCD Anschutz for Master of Public Health in epidemiology.


  • Feel shut out by your teen?
  • Worried how they are doing?
  • Want a closer family but not sure how?
  • Family members feel misunderstood?
  • Wonder what your teens wish you knew?


Bring Kerry to your organization or school to present on the Bridge the Gap Project.