Dear APS Community,
During this special holiday time, it is difficult to process that our state is now dealing with another horrific mass shooting. As you may have heard, news reports are sharing that five people were killed last night in a shooting at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub and another 18 people were injured.
This loss is heartbreaking and we know that many of you and your student(s) may be struggling with news of this attack. The police investigation is just starting so we do not yet know the motive, but we know this is a community often attacked because of hate and that this event, regardless of motive, will cause pain and hurt. As we all struggle with emotions stemming from this event, please know that Aurora Public Schools is here to support our students, staff and families.
We have counseling and mental health supports available for our students and staff. If a student or staff member is struggling, please reach out and connect them to a mental health professional at school.
We want to remind you that the mental health resources listed below are always available to you, your student(s) and your family.
- All APS students have access to mental health resources through Hazel Health.
- If you or a loved one is in imminent danger, please call 9-1-1.
- For urgent counseling, call Colorado Crisis Services at 844-493-TALK (8255), or text “Talk” to 38255. This service is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
- One of our main partners, Aurora Mental Health, operates six centers in Aurora. Visit aumhc.org for details.
- All APS employees have free, 24-hour access to counseling and other services through our Employee Assistance Program. Please call 1-888-324-2631 or visit hr.aurorak12.org/eap. APS has also partnered with Meru Health, which offers support to all APS staff through a free and 100% confidential 12-week program accessible via smartphone. Click here for more information. Other mental health resources for staff are available here.
There are also a number of resources available for supporting the LGBTQ community:
- The Trevor Project: call 1-866-487-7386, text “start” to 678-678 or chat on The Trevor Project website
- LGBTQ therapists in Denver
- National Queer & Trans Therapists of Color Network
- Phoenix Rise
To support and learn more, please view the following resources:
We also want to share the following resource on how to speak with your student(s) after a tragedy like this. The following is a resource from the National Association of School Psychologists on talking to children about violence:
As always, you can find more information about our mental health resources by visiting mentalhealth.aurorak12.org.
As a community, we all must reach out during challenging times like these and support each other. Please know that we support you and will continue to care for you.
- Superintendent Rico Munn
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