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Suicide prevention in Garfield County

When someone is suffering with depression, the most common diagnosis to suicide, most often that person cannot ask for help. A concerned person with a listening ear and five minutes can make a difference and save a life.

Suicide is a real problem in Garfield County. Last year, twelve people in our county lost their lives to suicide, which is high compared to other counties, according to Carrie Godes of Garfield County Public Health.

Research studies in Canada and the United States show four to five percent of the population have attempted suicide during their lifetime. One in nine persons has considered suicide.



The vast majority of those thinking about suicide will find some way to signal their intent. Most suicidal people are looking for another option. They don’t want to die. But preventing suicide takes two people ” a helper and the person at risk.

The key to suicide prevention is trained caregivers, people who can recognize individuals who are at risk and who know how to intervene to prevent the risk of suicidal thoughts becoming suicidal behaviors.



Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (A.S.I.S.T.) is designed to help all caregivers become ready to help persons at risk. The ASIST training course is coming to Glenwood April 21 and 22 at Valley View Hospital. This training is intense, but it helps participants become aware about suicide and depression. The emphasis is on suicide first aid ” helping a person at imminent risk stay safe and seek further help.

Those who are encouraged to attend are those who have responsibility for others in the workplace or those who would like to become more confident in knowing when to be concerned about possible suicide risk; those who want to translate concern into knowledge and skills about how to help promote safety; those who are familiar with general suicide intervention ‘tips’ but realize they need more practical tools to help; those who want to establish or strengthen links with others.

To register go to: http://www.suicidepreventionfoundation.org/asisttraining.html, or call Carrie Godes at the number above.

Anyone is welcome to join the Garfield County Suicide Prevention Coalition, which meets from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month at 108 Eighth St. in the County Commissioners Meeting Room in Glenwood Springs. The coalition has been training volunteers to take Suicide Prevention curriculum to schools in Garfield County. These volunteers are available to make presentations on suicide warning signs to community groups, organizations and schools upon request.

Kay Vasilakis’ “Nonprofit Spotlight” column appears every other Wednesday in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. She is a member of the Garfield County Human Services Commission. To contact her with nonprofit news or local inspirations, please call 384-9118 or e-mail kay@postindependent.com.


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