GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - A new effort by several organizations in the Grand Valley encourages everyone to "Be the on to" make a difference in a person's life who may be at risk of suicide.
At the Grand Junction Farmer's Market on Thursday, Mesa County Public Health, Mind Springs, Suicide Prevention Alliance of Mesa County and numerous organizations brought the Chain of Connectedness for community members to contribute to.
"We'd really like to take a moment and see how far this chain stretches just from one night of our community coming together and saying, 'Hey this is what I'm going to do for my community and my friends and family.'" said Katie Goddeyne, public information coordinator with Mesa County Public Health.
The chain is made up of messages from individuals, many containing "I will Be the One to..." The chain started at District 51 School and Colorado Mesa University with those students providing their messages.
"Kids want to be actively involved in creating trainings for peer to peer. So peers want to develop the trainings to say this is what a young person in crisis looks like and here are people who can help you including themselves" said Cathy Ebel, the Prevention Services coordinator for District 51.
The #BeTheOneTo Campaign encourages community members to look out for signs:
-#BeTheOneTo Ask the tough question: "Are you thinking about killing yourself?"
-#BeTheOneTo Keep Them Safe: Separate a person from things they can harm themselves with
-#BeTheOneTo Be There: Listen to your friend and their reasons for feeling hopeless and in pain. Listen to them with compassion and empathy.
-#BeTheOneTo Help them Connect: There are numerous community resources in town. A list of local resources can be found at healthlymesacounty.org/in-crisis
-#BeTheOneTo Follow up: Check in on the person regularly in the days and weeks following a crisis.
"Suicide is a community problem, it's not just one person so if we all work on it and all work on making those connections, it can only get better from here." said Goddeyne.
Businesses interested in bringing the Chain of Connectedness to their shop, can firstname.lastname@example.org.