Suicide Prevention Education Awareness Knowledge (SPEAK) is a mental health awareness program that is youth-led and youth-driven. It consists of a week-long series of education in schools which culminates in the 5k Walk/Run. Members of the community were profoundly impacted with the 2011 death of Joshua Dillon, a Brighton High School Senior. In order to draw attention to the importance of mental health and to spread the message of healing and hope, SPEAK was born.

Since 2012, the BYC has planned SPEAK week to promote awareness about mental health and break down the stigmas surrounding it. SPEAK also aims to raise awareness of local resources for those who are in need. 

During the inaugural year, the results of SPEAK week were phenomenal. Members of the BYC raised about $7,000, in addition to providing activities in two local high schools and hosted about 150 people at the first SPEAK 5K Walk.

Since 2012, the BYC has raised more than $100,000 to support SPEAK mental health initiatives. In 2019 SPEAK’s interactive and educational activities were offered in 14 27j schools. For more information please contact Tawnya Russell. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please call the suicide prevention hotline number: 1-800-273-TALK

The walk brings out a sea of support from members throughout the Colorado Community. The 5k Walk/Run is held at Carmichael Park and has some type of entertainment. The walk helps bring awareness to the severity of teen suicide while helping to educate the community and break down the stigmas that surround mental illness. The $15 registration fee provides each of the walkers with a commemorative t-shirt as well as a coupon book and event bag.  To view more details about this year's SPEAK Week & Walk visit speak5k.org.


This year marked the 10th Anniversary of SPEAK Week. Since 2012, the Brighton Youth Commission (BYC) has planned SPEAK Week to promote awareness about mental health and break down stigmas surrounding it. Colorado is eighth in the nation for the number of youth suicides, and the Brighton community has felt the impact of this statistic personally and profoundly with the 2011 death of Joshua Dillon, a Brighton High senior.

SPEAK has grown each subsequent year, both in the week's activities, number of schools involved, and especially the 5k Walk that completes the week's events. Additionally, SPEAK has greatly impacted the way our school district addresses teen mental health and suicide awareness. We are excited to continue this annual event and make a difference in our community.

SPEAK Booklet 

The virtual booklet includes speak schedule, warning signs of suicide, mental health resources and inspirational messages.

View the booklet here!

Dear Adult, 

I am reaching out to you on behalf of all teens who feel misunderstood, isolated, and lost. 

It's hard for us to reach out to you and other adults in our lives because we feel like you might judge us, or invalidate the way we feel. 

We would like to feel more comfortable with reaching out, but that would require a little help from you.  We need you to watch the video attached below. It was made to help adults understand life from our point of view, and what you can do to support us. 

I hope you take this step to potentially save a life. We are counting on you! 

Thank you so much, 

A teen in your life. 


Thank you to everyone who participated in our SPEAK Week events and joined us for our SPEAK Walk at Carmichael Park. As well as a special thanks to those who helped us in the planning and details of the week to make 2021 SPEAK Week a success. The year 2020 was a difficult one for all of us and we are so grateful we were able to continue with our annual SPEAK Week and SPEAK Walk. We want everyone to know that even though we've been apart this past year you are not alone. We can't wait to see you again next year in our journey to save lives.

And a very special thanks to all of our sponsors!


Other resources 

Gatekeeper resources can be found here!

Resources for survivors can be found here!


The Brighton Youth Commission is always accepting donations to help support our projects and help us continue to build leadership skills and create a larger impact on the community.

Please contact us regarding a variety of ways you may be able to donate your time or resources.

SPEAK heads