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Mancos student takes own life; gunshot injures girl nearby

The Mancos School District informed parents and staff about the death of a student last week. (The Jounal file)
School district offers counseling services

A 15-year-old boy took his own life in Mancos, according to Montezuma County Coroner George Deavers.

The death occurred the afternoon of July 22 near the Mancos River, he said, and the cause was a self-inflicted gunshot. The name of the victim was not released. Results of an autopsy are pending.

The male’s gunshot also injured a female juvenile nearby, Deavers said, and she was taken to a hospital. Her condition was not available.

Resources

Help for people having suicidal thoughts or for those who fear a person is considering suicide:

Axis Care Hotline:

24/7 local response to your crisis & behavioral health needs: (970) 247-5245

NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION HOTLINE:

(800) 273-TALK (8255) or text “TALK” to 741741

RED NACIONAL DE PREVENCIÓN DEL SUICIDIO:

(888) 628-9454

FORT LEWIS COLLEGE COUNSELING CENTER:

247-7212

BOYS TOWN HOTLINE:

(800) 448-3000.

SAFE2TELL COLORADO:

(877) 542-7233 or safe2tell.org

COLORADO CRISIS SUPPORT LINE:

(844) 493-8255 or text “TALK” to 38255 or online at coloradocrisisservices.org to access a live chat available in 17 languages. The line has mental-health professionals available to talk to adults or youths 24 hours a day.

AMERICAN FOUNDATION FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION:

Colorado chapter information available at afsp.org/chapter/afsp-colorado/

FOR MEN:

A website for adult men contemplating suicide is available at mantherapy.org

The Mancos School District’s crisis response team met Thursday and released a community statement about the student death on Friday, said Superintendent Todd Cordrey.

“It is with a heavy heart that we inform you that one of our high school students passed away yesterday,” the letter states. “The family is part of the Mancos community, and this loss will affect us all deeply.”

The district will provide counseling and grief support services to students and staff throughout the summer and during the school year.

For immediate needs, crisis counselors will be available at Mancos High School on July 28 from 10 a.m. to noon, or for as long as needed, school officials said.

If parents feel their child needs additional counseling support from the school, they should not hesitate to contact Alanda Martin at (970) 317-0667.

Out of privacy concerns, the school district said it was keeping the student’s information confidential.

“Students and staff will react in different ways to the death of one of our students,” the community letter says. “We should all expect a variety of emotions and responses to what has occurred, and there is no ‘normal’ way to grieve. The most important thing you can do is to be supportive and encourage open expression of feelings.”

The school district crisis response team has been in ongoing contact with affected families of the victims, Cordrey said Monday. Crisis team members include Cordrey, Heath Showalter, John Marchino, Cathy Epps and Alanda Martin.

School district officials also met with the Montezuma County Emergency Response team, local youth organizations, and the county health department.

The school district letter said that it is in the best interest of students and the community to “minimize rumors and unverified information.”

Contact Cordrey with concerns and questions at tcordrey@mancosre6.edu

For more support, reach out to local mental health hotlines at:

  • Axis Care Hotline 24/7 (970) 247-5245
  • Grief Center of Southwest Colorado (970) 764-7142
  • Colorado Crisis Line (844) 493-8255