DCHS Counseling Update
Latest CDC numbers show increase in youth mental health issues
DENVER - Mental health professionals across Colorado are seeing an increase in youth mental health issues. "We are facing a mental health crisis with our youth today, across the nation and recent data from the CDC is showing that the suicide rates are continuing to go up," said Kerry Peterson, associate professor at the CU College of Nursing and Cu Anschutz psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.
Men’s College Scholarship
We've extended the deadline! Application now open through Friday, April 7!
The Men’s College Scholarship application now closes on Friday, April 7! As a reminder, the application can be completed in as little as 15-20 minutes and the scholarship will award more than $50,000 in increments of $500-$1,000 -- issued to recipients in the form of a check to be used as desired.
ICYMI: The scholarship is designed to identify and reward outstanding high school seniors who have demonstrated an ability to excel in the fields of academics, extra-curricular school activities and community involvement. It is available to any male, graduating senior who is enrolling in a four-year undergraduate college program that commences in the fall of 2023.
The scholarship is awarded through the Foundation for Fraternal Excellence, a registered 501(c)3 organization. Current or future membership in a fraternity is not required.
Application button not working? Copy/paste this url to your browser:
PHILIP S. MILLER SCHOLARSHIP
Philip S. Miller, multi-millionaire and philanthropist, was born in 1895 in Peoria, Illinois. The Miller family moved to Denver when he was a young boy. Philip met and married Jessie, better known as Jerry, in 1919 and for a time they lived in Elizabeth where he was a butcher and owned a meat market. In 1921, Philip and Jerry made the move to Douglas County when he took over the management of the market he owned in Castle Rock. From his beginnings as a butcher, Mr. Miller went on to own a feed and fuel business and to raise prize- winning Shorthorns before he began his banking career. Realizing that Castle Rock and Douglas County needed a local bank, he helped establish the Bank of Douglas County in 1939. Over the years, Philip S. Miller
amassed a fortune and during his lifetime he generously supported a variety of organizations within the town of Castle Rock. Douglas County High School is thankful for the scholarship trust left by Mr. Philip S. Miller.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Monday, April 24th, 2023, 3:00 p.m.
Applicants will be judged on predictable future success at a place of higher education taking into consideration
● Past and present academic achievement
● A firm commitment to attend any accredited two-year or four-year college or vocational-technical
school in the United States of America
● Financial need may be considered.
● United States citizen
● Cumulative GPA 2.75 or greater
● ACT composite 19 or
SAT combined math & verbal score of 860
Three Reference Forms
● Two Reference Forms completed DCHS staff (administrators, teachers, or counselors) Make a copy
● One Reference Form completed by someone outside of school who knows you well (not a relative) for a total of THREE references. Your application will be considered to be incomplete if we have not
received all three references. Reference documents must be submitted by their authors directly to Mrs. Anderson. Make a copy
(Applicants not required to take such tests to gain acceptance to the school of their choice are encouraged to apply, but still must adhere to all the requirements of the application other than the testing requirement.)
● Copy of acceptance letter attached to this application (or a list of all colleges accepted to.)
● Student must attend Douglas County High School for at least one full semester and graduate in 2023.
● Mrs. Anderson will print out transcripts when application is turned in.
● Winners will be notified by the end of April, 2023.
● Winners must plan to use the scholarship monies for the summer, fall, or spring term, or a combination
thereof, immediately following graduation from high school.
● The selection committee reserves the right to interview applicants.
You must submit your completed application and all supportive materials directly to Mrs.
Anderson via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 3:00 p.m. on Monday, April 24th, 2023.
Nowadays we live busy lives, trying to strike a balance between work, school, hobbies, self-care and more. In turn our social connections fall by the wayside. But connecting with others is more important than you might think. Making social connections can help lower anxiety and help us regulate our emotions, lead to higher self-esteem and actually improve our immune systems.
Due to technology we are more disconnected than generations before us. While technology seems to connect us more than ever, the screens around us disconnect us from nature, from ourselves, and from others. Facetime and Zoom aren't enough, we need face-to-face interaction to thrive. Technology should be enhancing our connection to others, not replacing it.
Our inherent need for human connection doesn’t mean that every introvert must become a social butterfly. Having human connection can look different for each person. And if you’re not sure where to start in finding meaningful connection, that’s okay.
Pillar of Strength: CONNECT
Gather to build and maintain relationships and laugh a little.
April Connect Activities:
These activities are in person.
Click the activity for more info & to sign up:
Go Team Dogs at the Center
No registration required
April 11th & April 25th
For Elementary & Up
3:15 pm - 4:15 pm
Current & Former STEM School Staff
Current & Former Staff
Pillar of Strength: DO
Engage in activities that promote health and wellness.
April Do Activities
These activities are in person.
Click the activity for more info & to sign up:
Mondays, April 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th
Mondays, April 3rd, 10th
5pm - 6pm
Tuesdays, April 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th
For 16 years & Up
*Attendees can use the 15 minutes after class to meditate or journal.
For Teens & Up
Sunday, April 16th
For 16 years & Up
Thursdays, April 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th
Thursday, April 20th
For 16 Years & Up
Pillar for Strength: LEARN
Gain strategies, insights and understanding related to trauma recovery, teen relationships, parenting and other relevant topics.
April Learning Activities
Some activities are in person and online.
Click the activity for more info & to sign up:
Wednesdays, April 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th
Brain, Mind & Body Awareness Series - Braincode
For 16 years & Up
5pm - 6pm
Teens and Up
12pm -12:30 PM
Pillar for Strength: HEAL
Access free mental health services in either a group or individual setting.
All programming including therapy sessions are free.
Dear DCSD Staff and Families,
As I am sure you know, there was a shooting at East High School in Denver this morning. Our hearts go out to the impacted staff and students and the entire East High School community.
As a mom and a leader of schools, I know how events like today can shake us all and raise questions about how we are keeping our students safe. I want to take this moment to reassure you that nothing is more important than the safety of our students and staff. We were in touch with our local law enforcement partners all day and, while there was no threat to our schools or community, our school staff and our amazing school resource officers were extra vigilant today.
When situations arise like the one today, our security staff and law enforcement work together to monitor events, assess potential threats, and work with our schools to take necessary steps. Our staff and students are trained and prepared to initiate a security response protocol at any time, including communicating with families via emergency messaging. You can read more about what we do in Douglas County to keep your students safe here.
Finally, I want to express our gratitude for the continuous support of our law enforcement partners and our SROs - today and every day.
Thank you for your partnership and support as we work together to keep all of our students safe.
How to Help Kids Process Tragic Events
In our hyperconnected world, people of all ages have instant access to what’s happening around the globe. Vivid images and sounds of violence and harm—such as news reports of the school shooting in Nashville earlier this week—can invade our homes and our psyches in the blink of an eye.
Even if we understand intellectually that what’s happening is far away and does not endanger our physical safety, our nervous systems may still process the threat as if it was happening directly to us. This is known as secondary trauma, and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to this form of trauma. Because their brains are still developing, it’s difficult, if not impossible, for them to reason away the body’s fight-or-flight reaction.
As a result, witnessing suffering, fear, and destruction—whether on the news, online, or on their social media feeds—can have both short- and long-term impacts on young people’s mental and physical health.
10 Tips for Talking to Teens About Tragic Events
Talking about what’s happening is the best approach for how to help a child after a traumatic event. Discussing the event with a trusted adult—a parent, grandparent, therapist, or guidance counselor—can help children and teenagers process their feelings.
Even if a teen appears indifferent to the event, it’s important to talk about it. They may be feeling strong emotions under the stoic front. The first step is opening a safe space for communication.
How to Start the Conversation
Begin by finding out what they already know. Ask them what they have heard about the event. Make sure you’re informed beforehand so you can fill in missing facts about the event that they might not be aware of.
Let them take the lead. Rather than guiding the conversation, ask open-ended questions and find out what they’re thinking and what they want to know. You might be surprised: The issues that come up for teenagers aren’t always the same ones that adults grapple with.
Use age-appropriate language. Children and younger teens may not understand the feelings they’re having or why someone around them is scared or anxious. However, they can understand the idea of two people having disagreements and struggling over something both of them want.
Help them see the bigger picture. For older adolescents, it may be helpful to understand some of the background leading up to a tragic event. Having a historical perspective can actually provide a sense of reassurance—a reminder that this too shall pass—if a child is struggling with war anxiety or other types of anxiety related to tragic events.
Stay Open and Authentic
Be honest. Teens are savvy and they already know a lot about what the world is like. Don’t mince words or try to sugarcoat what’s happening. It’s important for teens to trust the adults around them and to know they can go to them for honest answers.
Reassure them that they’re not alone in their feelings. Let them know that their sadness, fear, anxiety, confusion, anger—or whatever they are experiencing—is a natural reaction to a disturbing and violent situation.
Share your own reaction, without going overboard. It’s okay to let teens know that you, too, find this event troubling and sad. But adults shouldn’t use the discussion with their kids to process their own emotions. That may create more anxiety for the child or teen. Validation is okay; venting is not.
Follow Up Afterward
Keep checking in. Talking to teens about tragic events or their fear of war should not be a one-and-done conversation. Be sure to check in every few days to see how your teen is feeling, particularly if they are exhibiting signs of stress. Don’t push them to talk if they don’t want to, but make sure they know you are there for them when they do.
Monitor how they’re doing. Continue to watch for physical and behavioral signs that may indicate a teen is struggling. Remember that irritability and anger may be masking feelings of fear and distress.
Be present and loving. Let them know that you are there for them, that you will always do your best to keep them safe, and that they can come to you at any time for support. Even if they don’t want to talk about it, simply doing something enjoyable or comforting together can help them feel better.
Recognizing Secondary Trauma in Children and Teens
It can be difficult to figure out how to help a child after a traumatic event. Not all teens are able or willing to speak openly about their distress and fear of war or other tragic and violent events. They may feel embarrassed that they are so deeply affected by a situation that doesn’t directly impact their safety. Or they may not realize that the discomfort they’re experiencing is related to what they’re seeing in the media.
Therefore, it’s important for parents and other mentors to watch for the signs that a teen may be experiencing secondary trauma. This is particularly true for young people who are already struggling with an anxiety disorder or mental health issue, as there is a higher risk of developing a phobia or war or other types of tragic events.
Here are some of the ways tragic events can effect adolescent emotional and cognitive behavior:
- Sleep issues: Insomnia, nightmares, or oversleeping in the morning after a difficult night indicate that a teen may be experiencing intense anxiety or distress.
- Physical problems: Children or teens may complain about stomachaches, headaches, or loss of appetite.
- Behavioral changes: Irritability and aggressive behavior can be signs of anxiety.
- Substance abuse: Teens may increase their use of alcohol or drugs as a way to self-medicate the emotions brought up by the event. Learn about signs of teen substance abuse.
- Becoming clingy: Teens who had previously been drawing away from their parents as they move toward independence may become clingy and attached.
How to Help a Child After a Traumatic Event: 6 Practices to Help Process Secondary Trauma
After a traumatic response, young people need to shift their minds and bodies out of the fight-or-flight response and into the rest-and-digest system, to help restore a state of balance, health, and hope. Here are six evidence-based practices for calming and relaxing the nervous system.
Journaling: Writing about what they’re feeling can help teens process what they’re seeing and the emotions they’re experiencing. In one study, researchers compared the effect of EMDR on adolescent trauma survivors with that of a therapeutic writing intervention. The approaches were equally effective in reducing PTSD reactions, anxiety, depression, and behavioral problems.
Self-expression without words: Some teens might have strong emotions about the event but have trouble putting it into words. However, there are other ways they can process their emotions. Making art, playing an instrument, or movement (dancing, yoga, or martial arts, for example) are all positive ways to express what they are feeling.
Remembering the good in the world: After a tragedy, it’s easy to focus on the negative. Remind your teen that most people are good at heart and want to help others, not hurt them. You might want to share personal stories or stories in the media that illustrate how people are helping and caring for their fellow humans.
Self-compassion: Young people may people feel guilty about feeling stressed or traumatized even though they are physically safe while others are directly impacted. Remind them that their feelings are a natural and human response to a disturbing event, no matter the level of exposure. The ability to empathize with others’ pain is a strength. However, it may take time for them to learn how to experience empathy without internalizing others’ distress.
Connection: Teens may want to reach out to close friends, extended family, or mentors they trust. Multiple studies have shown that positive social relationships strengthen resilience and positive emotions, which help them overcome war anxiety or other forms of secondary trauma.
Unplugging: During times when the news is particularly distressing, a digital detox can help decrease trauma triggers. In addition, unplugging on a regular basis frees up time for healthy activities that bring teens into the present moment, such as being in nature and moving their bodies. Rather than sitting inside looking at their phone, seeing content that can magnify their fear of war or other frightening events, they can rebalance their nervous systems through physical activity and time outdoors.
Transportation & Construction GIRL
Transportation & Construction GIRL is committed to introducing young women to economically sustainable careers in transportation and construction. One of our programs to expand young women’s vision of their future career is Career Week for GIRLs.
Career Week for GIRLs is a free summer camp for girls 13-23 years old. Over one week, girls make five stops to engage with women, ask questions and tour work sites. Each company puts together a day long insight into their company and into the industry. Here are just a few salaries in the industry: Brick Masons $80,000; Project Coordinator $90,000; Estimator $75,000-$90,000; Architect $75,000; Electrician $58,000; Drone Operator $82,000 and Tower Crane Operator $77,000. And, these are just starting salaries.
- Candidate must be female
- Age 13 - 23
- Have transportation to and from host companies
- Sign: parental release, consent form and conduct form
Weekdays: June 5-9, June 19-23 or June 26-30
Duration: 9am - 3pm each day, Mon-Fri
Cost: Free to approved candidates
Deadline: March 30, 2023
For more information: Info@ConstructionGIRL.org
If you have questions, email email@example.com
Douglas County baseball loaded with talent, depth as early Class 5A state title contender
With two of the top-ranked players in the state plus a wealth of depth and experience, Douglas County baseball has all the pieces in place to make a run at the program's first state championship this year. The Huskies boast senior right-hander and BYU commit Max Stanley, the No.
It can be an incredibly stressful time of year for graduating seniors as they try to decide which direction to go after High School graduation. With an increased amount of pressure from parents, educators, and peers, I know it can be difficult and overwhelming for some students as they make decisions about their future.
As you provide guidance to graduating seniors, I wanted to provide you with another option that may be a good fit for some of your students. WorldStrides offers a “No Gap” - GAP Year Program. Our program is a 12-week trip in which students travel to 5 countries (Greece, Italy, Paris, Spain, and Morocco). They learn about, and immerse themselves in other cultures, meet and make new friends with other students from around the world, and develop skills sets that will impact their future, in whatever direction they choose to go. They will experience all of this while earning 12 college credits!
The GAP Year Program is guided by an experienced Program Leader that travels to all locations with the group of students. The students engage in 2-week courses at various locations that are instructed by local English-Speaking Professors and credits are issued from the University of South Florida. The students will progress through the following itinerary:
- Athens, Greece: Orientation and 2 Week Course on International Migration: Trends, Causes, and Impacts (3 credits)
- Rome, Italy: 4-Day Cultural Exploration Excursion
- Florence Italy: 2 Week Course on Italian Food and Culture (3 credits)
- Paris, France: 4-Day Cultural Exploration Excursion
- Seville Spain: 2 Week Course on Spanish Art and Cultural Heritage (3 credits)
- Meknes, Morocco: 7-Day Cultural Exploration Excursion
- Additional Course Carried Throughout the Program on Social Justice and In/Equality in Global societies: Understanding, Origins and Future Challenges (3 credits)
Just a heads up that the registration for the Fall Program (September 4th- November 23rd, 2023) will close on May 15th, so we can be sure to plan/manage the logistical details and begin our personalized customer care to each student registered for the program.
If you would like to know more about our program or have students that might be interested in learning more, please feel free to visit our website at WorldStrides Gap Year. Please also feel free to continue this communication by email or feel free to give me a call and I am happy to answer any questions you may have.
We still have available our Changemaker Scholarship that will award one student who is making a difference full tuition to WorldStrides Gap Year 2023. We encourage students to apply!
We hope this program can serve as another to