suicides

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.

Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners

Mental illness is a major issue in the Roaring Fork Valley, and around Colorado. As part of his administration’s plan to help more people get help for untreated illness, Governor John Hickenlooper announced a new statewide mental health hotline last month. Bev Marquez is the CEO of Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners, the organization running that new hotline. Marquez talks with Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher about the response so far—and whether residents in the Roaring Fork Valley should call the statewide hotline or a local hotline first.

    

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.

Creating Community Solutions Colorado

 

 The Roaring Fork Valley is part of a national effort to tackle mental health problems. Locals met with state mental health leaders this weekend to talk about what the key issues are here. The goal is to help figure out the best way to solve them. 

Elise Thatcher

Last night, more than three hundred people gathered to learn about a very difficult subject. Residents from Aspen and the greater Roaring Fork Valley attended the Wheeler Opera House for a community forum on suicide. The event was prompted by a spike in suicides this winter, as well as the ongoing high rate in the Valley. Last night’s forum was hosted by the Aspen Hope Center. 

Elise Thatcher

A string of suicides  has sparked a community meeting on the subject. After three deaths in period of ten days, the Aspen Hope Center held a gathering yesterday on how to better tackle the troubling problem. Counselors, law enforcement, residents, and others met in Basalt.  

 

Rose Richards/Colorado Public News

 

The number of people who commit suicide with a gun in Colorado is four times higher than the number of gun-related homicides. Public health professionals and gun manufacturers are considering measures to reduce the number of suicides -- including “smart guns” that can only be fired by the owner. Colorado Public Radio’s Rabah Kamal has more.