Grand Futures: What Routt County teens are doing about mental health |

Grand Futures: What Routt County teens are doing about mental health

Emily Craig
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, most teens have positive mental health, but statistics show that one in five teens will have or have had a serious mental health disorder at some point in their lives.

Problems with mental health usually start early in life. In fact, over half of mental health issues begin by age 14. Normal teen development includes a wide range of emotions. It is common for teens to experience stress or anxiety over friendships, school, relationships, sports and home life. If overlooked without establishing healthy ways to deal with these emotions, the effects can be detrimental and even life-threatening.

The effects of poor mental health can lead to anxiety, depression, substance use, violence, anger issues, poor decision making and even suicide. In fact, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15 to 24 year-olds. 

To help combat these challenges and assist youth in developing better resilience skills, a group of local teens have been working to host a countywide youth summit this fall, and are seeking middle and high school students to join the planning committee.

The Power to Transcend Routt County Youth Summit seeks to prevent depression, other mental health disorders, substance use disorders and suicide by helping teens to focus on healthy alternatives and building positive, happy and healthy lifestyles.

The full-day event planned for this fall is being led by a group of youth volunteers operating under the guidance of Grand Futures Prevention Coalition, a community resource for substance abuse prevention in Northwest Colorado. The group meets twice a month to organize the details of this year’s event titled “Burst the Stigma.”

The summit will feature a keynote speaker and multiple breakout sessions.  The focus of the conference is on the serious topic of mental health, but the workshops are designed to be fun and interactive with activities.

Those looking for a way to benefit the mental health of teenagers, flex leaderhship skills or build their resume should consider joining the Power to Transcend Routt County Youth Summit planning committee.

The next planning meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Aug. 22 at the Rocky Mountain Youth Corp Center off of Captain Jack Drive. For more information, contact Emily Craig at or Lindsey Simbeye at or 970-819-7805.

Emily Craig is a senior at Steamboat Mountain School.

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