Suicide Prevention and Awareness
Suicide is a response to despair that cannot be undone. In 2019, it claimed lives at the rate of nearly two and a half times more than homicide. With the struggles and stressors we are facing in light of the global pandemic – children, parents, first responders, teachers, healthcare workers – just about everyone has felt some kind of loss and sadness as we struggle with the realities of modern life.
September is Suicide Prevention Month and as behavioral healthcare professionals we have never felt a greater need to create a climate of awareness around the no-return reality that suicide brings. The lives lost, the family and friends left behind to wonder how we could have made a difference, the ability for survivors to go on to thrive, and the gut-wrenching process of shedding the shackles of pain that truly are never left behind.
At SummitStone Health Partners, we are here to help. We offer support, therapies, and training to our community members. Our Crisis Services provide assistance to everyone, available 24/7/365, either through our Walk-In hours (8 a.m. to midnight, 1217 Riverside Avenue, Fort Collins), or by calling our Mobile Services Unit at (970-494-4200 Ext. 4, or text TALK to 38255).
We offer free training from a nationally recognized program called QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer), which is focused on reducing suicidal behaviors and saving lives by helping people identify warning signs of suicide, learning how to get help for someone in crisis, and applying the QPR training with someone who may be suicidal. It only takes a little over an hour to learn how you can be a lifesaver. https://www.summitstonehealth.org/qpr/
We also offer Mental Health First Aid training at no cost. This one-day training teaches how to help a person who may be experiencing a mental health related crisis. https://www.summitstonehealth.org/mental-health-first-aid/
Suicide is first and foremost preventable. SummitStone is proud to once again sponsor our partners at the Alliance for Suicide Prevention of Larimer County LifeSaver’s Breakfast, which will be held virtually on Tuesday, September 28 at 9 a.m. I encourage you to register and participate in this annual event here: https://allianceforsuicideprevention.org/lifesavers-breakfast-2021/
Additionally, the American Association of Suicide Prevention is hosting an Out of the Darkness walk in Fort Collins on September 12 at Spring Canyon Park at 10 a.m. Registration is available through this link https://supporting.afsp.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.event&eventID=7681
I know that by working together we can, and we are, saving lives.
Yours in good health,
Michael G. Allen, MBA, LCSW, CACIII