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CRISIS LINE - 970-846-8182 OR CALL 911
Mind Springs Health 970-879-2141 or 888-207-4004
National Suicide Prevention Hotline 800-273-TALK (8255)
For an update on REPS events, workshops, and other calendar events, please click on the Facebook link above!!
Other regional links for suicide prevention efforts:
According to the Routt and Moffat County Coroner's Offices, suicide was the cause of death in nine cases in 2014, up from eight suicides 2013. All but one were male; none were teens, as was the case in 2013. The number of Emergency Department visits at the local hospital appears to be down in 2014: approximately 22, down from 27 in 2013; with fewer than five teen admissions. The death rate in the two counties due to suicide in 2014 has dropped to about 21 per 100,000 population, a significant improvement over the 30 per 100,000 average during the five years from 2009 to 2013, though still higher than the State average. Positive changes are occurring, albeit slower than we had hoped.
We believe these results are encouraging, at the least. QPR and ASIST are reaching more and more adults and youth; and the numbers of suicides and hospitalizations has stabilized. REPS programs are demonstrating their effectiveness and deserve additional support to keep the momentum moving in the right direction. In 2014, 85 people were certified in ASIST and 570 trained in QPR in Routt and Moffat Counties. The new programs will only add to the effectiveness of our efforts to reduce the still critical issue of the high incidence of suicide in Routt and Moffat Counties.
The top 5 most pressing needs of REPS are:
- Funds to continue suicide prevention efforts and outreach programs including ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training), QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) training, the Colorado Gun Shop Project (limiting access to lethal means), the Jeffrey Allen Dye Suicide Prevention Fund (free youth counseling and therapy sessions), and It Takes Courage (youth bullying prevention).
- Volunteers and professional counselors to support suicide prevention and crisis support programs such as Suicide Prevention Advocates Program (SPA), a team of ASIST-certified and trained volunteers who are on-call to provide support to those in local hospitals who have attempted suicide.
- Support for the annual Yampa Valley Wellness Conference, a free one-day mental health workshop featuring nationally known guest speakers and interactive breakout sessions.
- Capital funding for the Remembering Place, a gathering location and memorial for those who have taken their own lives, to be located in a Steamboat Springs, Colorado public park.
Mental health care and suicide prevention is a daunting task in in Northwestern Colorado. With a population of 36,000 spread over 7,000 square miles, combined with a western "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" mentality and easy access to firearms, suicide has become a persistent problem for Routt and Moffat Counties.
Together, both counties have a 60 percent higher rate of suicides per 100,000 population (29.5) than the State of Colorado average (18.2) and over double the national average (12.7). The Colorado Department of Health and Environment lists 56 deaths in the two counties attributable to suicide between 2009 and 2013, one of the leading causes of all deaths in the region. Each year there are well over a hundred suicide attempts, many of which go unreported, or the equivalent of one attempt every three days.
REPS was formed in 2004 as part of the Colorado Trust Suicide Initiative to address the suicide problem in Routt and Moffat Counties. Until April 2011, REPS was operating within Colorado West Regional Mental Health (now Mind Springs Health). Since May 2012, REPS has been an independent 501 (c)(3). Our mission: "Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide seeks to preserve, protect and promote life by providing the Yampa Valley with a group of trained volunteers, collaborative initiatives, educational programs, compassionate survivor-care and proactive suicide prevention efforts."
Executive Director Statement
Thank you for investing in the passion and determination needed to make our communities a suicide-safer community. Each suicide is the result of unique circumstances and the emotions leading to each are filled with stifling and incapacitating hopelessness. After surviving my own suicide attempt I hoped for change; a change in how quickly we recognize the signs of a possible suicide, but more importantly changing the stigma associated with and surrounding mental health. After I lost my brother-in-law in 2011, I realized that sitting and hoping for change was not enough. I could no longer be idle with the dream that things would change, things would never change for me unless I took a stand. Luckily I wasn't alone in my conviction, Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide has a mission that looks to "preserve, protect, and promote life." REPS passionately provides our community with a group of trained volunteers, collaborative initiatives, educational programs, compassionate survivor-care and proactive suicide prevention. I am proud to stand with REPS and with each person that joins the passion and movement against the Stigma, lack of knowledge and/or lack of action surrounding mental health and suicide in our community. Many hands make light work, please join the movement.
Meghan Francone, Executive Director
Board Chair/President Statement
I have been involved with the REPS Organization here in the Yampa Valley for the past 7 years. As Board Chair, I continue to serve as a volunteer in many capacities within our organization including QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) trainer, loss assistance team member, and as a suicide support group facilitator. I have attended several trainings on grief support. I assisted our previous Executive Director in creating our SPA (Suicide Prevention Advocate) program in partnership with the Yampa Valley Medical Center. I know that we are saving lives and making a real difference through the SPA program. I have witnessed it first hand.
In the course of my life I have lost six close friends and family members to the tragic death by suicide. In 1995 I survived my own lethal attempt on my own life. It was at this time that I realized that I had a life purpose to promote life and do all I can to give back. I made a lifelong commitment to do all I can, to assist others in finding purpose, meaning and the desire to keep on living.
Leslie Christensen, Board Chair
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It Takes Courageby Heather Savalox
Heather Savalox founded It Takes Courage in response to the death of her niece Kristina Arielle Calco. Her suicide, at the age of 15, resulted from years of bullying.
Serving Northwestern Colorado, It Takes Courage's mission is to raise awareness about the impacts of bullying and decrease incidents of suicide among our youth. We do this by promoting the importance of standing up and speaking out to eradicate bullying and by providing young people and their families with the tools that instill courage and inspire growth of empathetic communities.
It Takes Courage is volunteer-driven and operates as a program under REPS (Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide). We work collaboratively with the Mind Springs Health Center of Steamboat Springs to provide anti-bullying and suicide prevention programs in elementary, middle, and high schools throughout Routt County.
It Takes Courage prides itself on being malleable and adapts presentations to any group. Our volunteers share their own real-life experiences with bullying, depression, and suicide prevention. To date, we've provided outreach to over 2300 students and staff across the Yampa Valley!
With your support, we can continue to make a difference by delivering a consistent message that bullying is never acceptable and that suicide IS preventable.
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