Announcement, News

Pediatric Mental Health is in a ‘State of Emergency’

By Children's Hospital Colorado Foundation

October 11, 2021

We have reached a critical juncture in our ability to address the pediatric mental health crisis. Suicide is the leading cause of death for kids starting at age 10 in Colorado, and thoughts of suicide or a suicide attempt are among the top reasons that patients come to our emergency departments.

Pediatric mental health crisis

Our hospitals continue to be flooded with kids suffering mental health crises. The pandemic has created a worst-case scenario for young people, exacerbating already elevated levels of anxiety and depression. Self-harm or suicide attempts are among the top reasons that patients seek mental health care in our emergency departments.

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 declaration in May was 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 at Children’s Colorado in 2021 compared to 2019

Suicide attempts

are seen by 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 critical juncture 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 at capacity.

This crisis needs more attention and awareness. Children’s 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 by:

  • Increasing access to 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
  • Enabling us to work toward an entirely different and better future for pediatric mental health

Young people like Luthien cannot wait for better mental health support

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.

Give Now