Youths speak out about mental health following stories of south metro suicides.
When the impact of a suicide started to take a toll on Jim Janicek’s kids, he knew he had to do something.
“My kids go to Arapahoe High School,” Janicek told a crowd at the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center near downtown Denver.
When Arapahoe student Nick Bales died by suicide last fall, it sent Janicek’s kids into a spiral, he said. That was just a few days before another Arapahoe student took her life.
“My kids literally came home saying, `I’m so scared because I don’t know who’s going to be next,’ ” Janicek said.
Janicek, the president of a TV production and marketing company, approached the Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media, later talking to the state Attorney General’s Office.
Eventually, he met Rick Padilla, the father of Jack Padilla, a freshman at Cherry Creek High School who died by suicide in February. Friends of Jack Padilla, who assembled into a group called “Jackstrong” to raise awareness about suicide, got involved in Janicek’s push, too.