Colorado school social worker quelled a girl’s suicidal thoughts | VailDaily.com

Colorado school social worker quelled a girl’s suicidal thoughts

The state hopes school social workers can provide a lasting solution.

Christopher Osher | The Colorado Sun
Megan Wykhuis’ work is funded by a few different grants through the Colorado Department of Education. “In Colorado we have the highest suicide rates and also the lowest paid teachers in the country,” she said.
Nina Riggio, Special to The Colorado Sun

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OAK CREEK — Colorado lawmakers in the last legislative session committed more state money to behavioral health staffing in schools, hoping to help more students like a 15-year-old Routt County girl who credits the social worker at her school with saving her life

The teen says she is a survivor of sexual assault that so devastated her psyche that one night she took her father’s handgun from his bedroom and planned to kill herself. A random text message from her sister kept her from pulling the trigger.

But she says it was Megan Wykhuis, the social worker Soroco High School hired in 2017 with a behavioral health grant from the state, who taught her the power of poetry could give her a reason to go on living and defeat her thoughts of suicide.

“She taught me how to help make sense of it all and how to have coping mechanisms,” says the student, whose name is not being used because she is a juvenile crime victim. When Wykhuis had her write a poem after her suicide attempt, she began to understand why she had grown so depressed and isolated and had stopped talking to others.

And she reached out for help.

Read more via The Colorado Sun.

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