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Tough Topics

This guide offers local services and resources covering a variety of community needs, including suicide, substance abuse, sexual assault, gender identity, as well as many others.

How to Navigate This Page

On this page, you'll find information on crisis services and how to recognize the warning signs of a mental health condition in teens and young adults. If you're a teen looking for help with a mental or behavioral health question or condition, please navigate to the Resources for Youth and Young Adults page. If you're an adult looking for help for a teen or young adult in your life, please navigate to the Resources for Parents and Caregivers page. 

From the PPLD Collection

Out of Order

This is a manual for teens and young adults to help them understand mental illness and recovery. It covers such topics as mental illnesses, suicidal thoughts, personality disorders, learning problems, intellectual disabilities, treatment, and recovery. This book will help answer questions like: What is mental illness? What are the symptoms? Do you need help? How do you find the right kind of help? How can you take responsibility yourself for understanding and recovery. It discusses treatments, therapies, medications, support groups, and contains a disorders dictionary, resources for help, relevant websites, and an index.

Next to Nothing

More than simple cases of dieting gone awry, eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are among the most fatal of mental illnesses, responsible for more deaths each year than any other psychiatric disorder. These illnesses afflict millions of young people, especially women, all over theworld. Carrie Arnold developed anorexia as an adolescent and nearly lost her life to the disease. In Next to Nothing, she tells the story of her descent into anorexia, how and why she fell victim to this mysterious illness, and how she was able to seek help and recover after years of therapy and hard work.

Teen Suicide

Presents articles both supporting and opposing issues related to teen suicide, including if bullying increases suicide risk, what teen demographic is most at risk, and the connection between suicide and self-harm.

What You Must Think of Me

Part of the Adolescent Mental Health Initiative series of books written specifically for teens and young adults, What You Must Think of Me will also be a valuable resource for friends and family of those with SAD. It offers much-needed hope to young people, helping them to overcome this illness and lead healthy, productive lives.

Monochrome Days

If you are one of the nearly twenty percent of adolescents who experience the symptoms of major depression before the end of high school, then you are probably already familiar with the sadness, isolation, and confusion that depression can bring. You may have questions about symptoms,medications, treatments, and how to deal with depression at school and at home. Monochrome Days: A Firsthand Account of One Teenager's Experience with Depression was written specifically for you.

When the Mirror Lies

A comprehensive examination of the risks and physical and emotional effects of anorexia and bulimia, especially among today's youth.

Cutting and Self-Injury

Self-injury is not something people talk about very often. Yet, it is a reality for millions of young people across North America. Cutting and Self-injury deals with self-harming behavior and the reasons why people do it. Directly and carefully written, this book discusses avoidance and treatment.

Eight Stories Up

Part of the Adolescent Mental Health Initiative series of books written specifically for teens and young adults, Eight Stories Up offers hope to young people who are at risk of suicide, extending a lifeline of support and guidance that can save their lives.

Defeating Depression

The National Institute of Mental Health reports that one in ten young people will suffer from a depressive disorder before the age of eighteen. Though depression is a common condition, it is also one that is often misunderstood. This useful guide establishes the clinical definition of depression and explains the difference between conditions such as persistent depressive disorder and major depression. Common treatment methods, including therapy and medications, are discussed. The volume also contains advice about where depressed teens can turn to get the help that they need, interviews from medical professionals, information about risk factors for depression, and things depressed teens can do to try to combat their depression.

The Anxiety Survival Guide for Teens

Do you have problems with anxiety? The Anxious Teen Survival Guide is a much-needed, go-to guide to help you finally break free from the worry and ruminations that can get in the way of reaching your goals. If you have anxiety, your fears and worries can keep you from feeling confident and independent. Teen milestones such as making friends, dating, getting good grades, or taking on more mature responsibilities, may seem much more difficult. And if you're like countless other anxious teens, you may even avoid situations that cause you anxiety altogether--leaving you stuck in a cycle of worry and avoidance.


Hello! You have found your way to the Mental Health and Suicide resource section of the Tough Topics Guide. If you are a young adult in crisis, please see the crisis resources on this page. If you are seeking other resources, please click here to access the list of resources for youth. You can also navigate to this page using the blue bars on the left (web) or top (mobile) of the page.  

If you are an adult seeking resources for your young adult, please click here to access the resources we have compiled for parents and caregivers. You can also navigate to this page using the blue bars on the left or top of the page. 

Recognizing the Warning Signs of Suicide

Source: NAMI

An essential first step in preventing Teen Suicide is to recognize the warning signs and knowing how to respond. From the El Paso County Department of Public Health:

Recognize the warning signs                                                    Understand how to get help for a youth at-risk for suicide
 - Talking about dying - Express concern
- Recent loss (death, divorce in family, broken relationship, etc.) - Ask directly about suicide
- Change in: personality, behavior, sleep patterns, eating habits.

- Encourage them to seek help (hotlines, crisis services,
mental health services, etc.)

- Fear of losing control -Involve an adult they trust
- Low self-esteem -Call 911 for immediate concerns about safety
- No hope for the future  

If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis, please call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, or call Colorado Crisis Services at 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or text "TALK" to 38255. These numbers will connect you to a safe and confidential crisis services by trained mental health professionals. 

Crisis Services

988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline and Colorado Crisis Services

If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis, please do not hesitate to call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, or call Colorado Crisis Services at 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or text "TALK" to 38255. These numbers will connect you to a safe and confidential crisis services by trained mental health professionals. Colorado Crisis Services also operates walk-in crisis centers at 115 S. Parkside Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80910.

Local Resources

Below the Surface

Below the surface is a crisis text line for teens that recognizes the fine line between feeling OK and not OK. It's free, confidential, and, since every struggle is different, personal. All counselors are trained to help texters deals with their unique situation.

Click Here for more information on the program and FAQs.

Just text TALK to 38255 or call 1-844-493-8255 if you are unable to text to connect with a counselor.

Recommended Websites

Responding to Behavior Health Concerns in El Paso County