GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – “We’ve had some good bills in the past run to help in prevention of suicide, but we really need to provide these resources now, it’s time,” Janice Rich, Colorado State Representative said.
Legislation co-sponsored by Representative Rich is designed to combat a widespread problem in our state.
“Well the main focus is about lowering the suicide rate by enhancing care for people affected by suicide, and broadening Colorado’s focus on suicide and suicide attempts and the after affect of those actions. This is not only about prevention but intervention and posttension,” Representative Rich said.
Rich is concerned about mesa county’s high suicide rate and turned to a group that is affected for insight on what resources would best meet the needs of suicide prevention among high school students.
“When one of their friends commits suicide they didn’t really have anywhere to go,” Representative Rich said.
Separate but related legislation co-sponsored by another Western Slope lawmaker helps to make resources immediately available in our region. When you’re in a mental health crisis there’s only one mental health hospital between Denver and Salt Lake City, but if you can’t make it to the hospital, you can call the national suicide prevention hotline which is eleven digits long, which may be too long because seconds save lives.
“988 is for when you are in a mental health crisis or considering suicide and you need to reach someone right then and there. what we’ve learned about someone that is suicidal is just a delay could be the difference between life and death,” Matt Soper, Colorado State Representative said.