September is Suicide Prevention Month |

September is Suicide Prevention Month

Guest Commentary
Donnalyne LaGiglia
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Suicidal behavior is like a river running through our community with a dangerous waterfall at the end. There are some signs warning about the dangers of going into the river, but is not clearly marked. Whenever someone deliberately enters the river, they take the risk of being swept over the waterfall to their harm or death.

Our job as a community is somewhat like that of a lifeguard. It is to spot people in the river as quickly as you can, get them to the bank and get additional help before they reach the waterfall.

Imagine a part of the river is entirely open to our view, where we can see right across and for a distance in both directions up and down. If a suicidal person came into this part of the river and was fully determined to go over the waterfall, a rare state, they would conceal their distress, swim quickly downstream and hide from view whenever necessary. Far more likely they will be moving slowly, sometimes fighting hard against the current, and calling out inviting us to help. This may seem strange. Even though they have entered the river, there is some part of them that wants to get out, wants to go on living. These invitations for help may not always be clear or loud, but the more we know about listening and watching for these invitations to offer help, the better we will be able to recognize and respond.

Find out how you can be a gatekeeper of the river in our community by attending a Suicide Prevention Education Awareness class at Glenwood Springs Library at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 2 or at the Silt Fire Station at 6 p.m. Sept. 16. This is a free education to our community; however donations are accepted to further its purpose.

Contact Donnalyne LaGiglia, chair/suicide prevention education, at (970) 948-6108. The above has been adapted from Living Works.

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