Aspen Hope Center

Elise Thatcher

A suicide prevention organization is unveiling a new campaign tonight. The Hope Center, now based in Basalt, is also hosting an expert on healing communities.  Michelle Muething is Executive Director of the small nonprofit, which offers a hotline and counseling for people with suicidal thoughts. Muething says the new effort is called the "Erase the Stigma" campaign, and it’s based on feedback gathered since last spring.

Creative Commons/Flickr/Lloyd Morgan

A suicide prevention group is holding a training for the public on Monday on how to recognize if loved ones are exhibiting suicidal signs. The Aspen-based Hope Center has already trained 3000 people in the Roaring Fork Valley but, now they’re using a different method. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke to Michelle Muething, director of the Hope Center and Dr. Kelly Posner-Gerstenhaber, creator of the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale.

Christina King

Mental health experts, law enforcement, and many others in the Roaring Fork Valley have been tackling the issue of suicide. Deaths by suicide in the area are some of the highest in the state… and after a particularly tough beginning to 2015, providers and advocates have been working to increase prevention. One new element is the Aspen Strong Foundation. It’s led by Executive Director and Founder Christina King, who recently moved to Aspen after visiting for over a decade. King talks with APR’s Elise Thatcher, and says she’s inspired by the amount of mental health resources in the Valley.

Elise Thatcher

Governor John Hickenlooper has signed a new law creating a commission to tackle the issue of suicide in Colorado. Members are to be chosen within the next two months, and will include representatives from mental health, law enforcement, education, and other sectors. The commission comes as providers in the Roaring Fork Valley are also trying to figure out how to keep people from committing suicide. Representatives from the mid Valley met in Carbondale on Wednesday to continue brainstorming and educating the public.