• A full-time counselor coordinates the social and emotional counseling program through Second Step. The counselor provides services that enhance the development of your child’s social, emotional, and educational growth. The counselor facilitates classroom activities, parent sessions, staff in-services, small groups for children, and resource materials. The counselor is available for individual consultation and concerns. The counselor may be reached by contacting the school at 719-423-3483.

  • About…

    My name is Karla Thielbar.  I am excited to start my second year as the school counselor at South Park Elementary School.  I have worked in the District for the past 17 years.  I was a classroom teacher for 15 years, teaching grades 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.  I have a Masters in Instructional Technology and am currently pursing another Master's Degree in School Counseling.  I love working with the students, families and staff at South Park and am proud to call it my home. This allows me to support students in a new role to meet their academic, career, and social/emotional development needs. 

    When not at school, I enjoy spending time with my husband, two sons, our dogs.   I spend a lot of time with my boys and their extra-curricular activites, but in our free time we love to go camping and off roading. 


    Mrs. Thielbar
    School Counselor


    School Based Mental Health Services in D60

    If a Pueblo School District 60 scholar is to lead a life of purpose and impact, his or her social and emotional well being must be regarded equally as important as academic growth.

    As it’s the district’s responsibility to provide a safe, positive and supportive environment for students as well as staff, addressing any mental health needs is paramount: especially during a global health crisis that limits personal, face-to-face engagement as well as social interaction.

    The D60 board of education recently heard an update on the ways the district is addressing the emotional well being and mental health needs of its students in a time of remote learning.

    “In alignment with our strategic plan, mission and core values, we’re working to adapt to how we serve students, to meet their needs, in a virtual learning environment,” Aaron Bravo, the district’s Executive Director of Intervention and Student Support Services, told the board.

    “More specifically, schools and school counselors are learning how to utilize resources and tools to make social/emotional learning lessons available in synchronous and asynchronous learning environments.”

    These lessons can be shared through videos, Nearpod lessons and interactive sessions, and delivered through Google Classrooms or by direct instruction through Google Meets.

    “Our district technology department has developed a safe and secure way for our school counselors and other support providers to meet individually with students and in small groups via Google Meets,” Mr. Bravo continued. “Many of our students are still able to access community-based mental health services through video therapy or teletherapy.

    “In addition, we are working with our community partners (Health Solutions, State of Grace Counseling, and “Spark the Change” Pueblo Pro Bono Mental Health Program) and our district technology department to ensure easier access to these services.”

    The threat assessment process -- identifying a potential violent act and addressing the underlying problem -- along with intervention and follow up support, has been adapted to ensure that regardless of the learning environment, students can receive essential support.

    On the horizon are additional support efforts, including intentionally reaching out to K-12 students and their families to conduct needs assessments “to identify what resources students and families require, including access to food, Internet, or mental health supports, so we in turn can identify resources to support them,” Mr. Bravo told the board.

    A partnership with Keystone Achievement, which supports children with autism and their families, will enable mental health and behavioral support for identified students and their families to continue in the virtual platform.

    The board learned that while student-submitted tips and information through Safe2Tell -- which allows for the anonymous reporting of threats or concerns -- has significantly diminished during the pandemic, the number of parents/guardians reaching out to the district to express concerns related to the mental health of their children has increased.

    As far as the number of students receiving services and support, Health Solutions has worked with 435, ranging in age from 5 to 19. State of Grace Counseling has performed more than 2,000 “youth contacts” at four middle schools: 675 individual sessions, 505 group sessions and 875 mentoring sessions.

    Pro Bono Mental Health Program, which supports students in the middle schools, is seeing 17 children on a regular basis, with additional referrals being accepted.

    For district staff and their families, the Employee Assistance Program offers free, confidential counseling services through Parkview Medical Center. 


    Suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents between 12 and 19 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Youth who are contemplating suicide frequently give warning signs of their distress. Parents, teachers, and friends are in a key position to pick up on these signs and provide help. 

    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

    We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline, at 1-800-273-8255,  provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

    Colorado Safe2Tell 

    This free 24-hour anonymous reporting service, at 1-877-542-7233, allows students to help stop a friend from committing suicide, get another student off drugs, or stop a bully from making other people miserable.

    School resources

    Students that show signs of suicide ideation could be subject to a threat assessment, which helps determine whether a student is in danger of hurting themselves or others. 

    If a student is deemed to be a potential threat to themselves, District 60 has resources both in the school and the community to help students, which includes mental health intervention:

    • Sources of Strength peer counseling
    • “No Bully” bully prevention program
    • On-site school counselors
    • On-site school Response to Intervention Coordinators 
    • Community Mental Health Partners
    • School-based Health and Wellness Centers

    Identifying risk

    When all adults and students in the school community are committed to making suicide prevention a priority -- and are empowered to take the correct actions -- we can help youth before they engage in behavior with irreversible consequences.

    Most important is to never take these warning signs lightly or promise to keep them secret. 

    Suicide risk factors

    Certain characteristics are associated with increased suicide risk:

    • Mental illness, including depression, conduct disorders, and substance abuse.
    • Family stress/dysfunction.
    • Environmental risks, including presence of a firearm in the home.
    • Situational crises (i.e., traumatic death of a loved one, physical or sexual abuse, family violence, etc.).

    Suicide warning signs

    Many suicidal youth demonstrate observable behaviors that signal their suicidal thinking:

    • Suicidal threats in the form of direct and indirect statements.
    • Suicide notes and plans.
    • Prior suicidal behavior.
    • Making final arrangements (e.g., making funeral arrangements, writing a will, giving away prized possessions.)
    • Preoccupation with death.
    • Changes in behavior, appearance, thoughts and/or feelings.

    Resiliency Factors

    The presence of resiliency factors can lessen the potential of risk factors that lead to suicidal ideation and behaviors.  Once a child or adolescent is considered at risk, schools, families, and friends should work to build these factors in and around the youth. These include:

    • Family support and cohesion, including good communication.
    • Peer support and close social networks.
    • School, family and community connectedness.
    • Cultural or faith beliefs that strengthen parent/child relations.
    • Adaptive coping and problem-solving skills, including conflict-resolution.
    • General life satisfaction, good self-esteem, sense of purpose.
    • Refusal skills to avoid risky behavior.
    • Parent monitoring of social media, computer and cell phone use.

    What to Do

    Youth who feel suicidal are not likely to seek help directly; however, parents, school personnel, and peers can recognize the warning signs and take immediate action to keep the youth safe. When a youth gives signs that they may be considering suicide, the following actions should be taken:

    • Remain calm.
    • Ask the youth directly if he or she is thinking about suicide.
    • Focus on your concern for their well-being and avoid being accusatory.
    • Listen.
    • Reassure them that there is help and they will not feel like this forever.
    • Do not judge.
    • Provide constant supervision. Do not leave the youth alone.
    • Remove means for self-harm.
    • Get help: Peers should not agree to keep the suicidal thoughts a secret and instead should tell an adult, such as a parent, teacher, counselor or school mental health worker. Parents should seek help from school or community mental health resources as soon as possible. School staff should take the student to the designated school mental health professional or administrator.


    For specific questions about district resources related to self-harm and suicide prevention, contact the District 60 School Culture, Wellness and Safety office at (719) 549-7285.