Pediatric Mental Health is in a ‘State of Emergency’

By Children's Hospital Colorado Foundation

June 8, 2021

We have reached a tipping point in our ability to address the pediatric mental health crisis: suicide is the leading cause of death for kids, starting at age 10, in our state, and thoughts of suicide or an attempt is the top cause for patients in our emergency departments across our System of Care.

Pediatric mental health crisis

Our emergency departments right now are overrun with kids suffering in a mental health crisis. The pandemic has turned anxiety and depression into the worst possible scenario for our kids. Already this year, there have been weeks that the #1 cause driving kids to our emergency departments is thoughts of suicide or an attempt.

The statistics are staggering and the problem is simply too large and too complicated for any one institution to tackle alone. Our hope in making this bold statement is to bring greater attention and resources to bear as we seek to make progress in solving the current mental health crisis in Colorado and across the region.

“Our kids have run out of resilience”


is a leading cause of death for young people ages 10-24 in Colorado


increase in behavioral health emergency visits in 2021 compared to 2019

Suicide attempts

are seen in our emergency transport team at a rate of 3-4 times per week

Our kids deserve better and they deserve it now

We’ve reached a tipping point in our ability to address the pediatric mental health crisis.

Demand for behavioral health treatment has increased 90% in the past two years. Just two years after it was built, our emergency behavioral health unit at Children’s Colorado, Colorado Springs is over capacity.

This crisis needs more attention and awareness. Children’s Hospital Colorado and the state of Colorado need more resources.

Your gift to pediatric mental health gives our kids the mental health care they need now. Here’s how:

  • Increasing inpatient care for kids in crisis
  • Helping us expand other pediatric mental health programs: Partial Hospitalization Program, Neuropsychiatric Special Care Program, and Eating Disorder Treatment Program
  • Expanding our preventative and early intervention services throughout the full spectrum of care
  • Providing family-centered care, and care in all communities
  • Work now toward an entirely different and better future for pediatric mental health

Give to help kids today

State of Emergency: Suicide is the leading cause of death for Colorado kids, starting at age 10, and is putting more kids in our emergency care than ever before. Fighting for our kids’ mental health is more necessary and urgent than ever before. Please, join us.

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