Office of Suicide Prevention
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Edition 13 | June 2019
This is a monthly newsletter from CDPHE regarding the Office of Suicide Prevention.


Welcome to the June Office of Suicide Prevention newsletter! As our office continues to grow, we wanted to create a better communication channel to highlight new resources, community-level work, funding opportunities, and upcoming events. We hope you will find this a valuable resource to keep you plugged in to Suicide Prevention in Colorado!

Rockstar Partner Spotlight!

A Round of Applause STAT! for Dr. Emmy Betz 

Dr. Emmy Betz is a board-certified emergency physician who works clinically at the University of Colorado Hospital Emergency Department (ED) and also conducts research in injury epidemiology and prevention. Dr. Betz's areas of research expertise are provider-patient communication about difficult topics in injury prevention, including "lethal means safety" (i.e., limiting access to guns and other lethal methods for those who are suicidal) and older driver safety. She also conducts work related to care of suicidal  patients in EDs. She has worked with numerous organizations on issues of suicide prevention, including the Colorado Suicide Prevention Commission, the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, the Colorado-National Collaborative, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. She co-founded and leads the Colorado Firearm Safety Coalition, a collaborative effort between public health and medical professionals and firearm retailers to reduce firearm suicides. Her research has received funding from the National Institutes of Health and numerous foundations. Her prior work has included publications and presentations related to ED provider attitudes towards lethal means restriction for suicide prevention, suicidality among older adults, public opinion about firearm safety discussions, and strategies for enhancing  provider-patient communication about sensitive topics, and in 2015 she gave an awesome TEDxMileHigh talk on firearm suicide.

Thanks for being an awesome Colorado prevention partner Dr. Betz! 

Office of Suicide Prevention Updates

Sources of Strength Train the Trainer Events

The Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention, in conjunction with funding generously provided by the Office of Behavioral Health, is pleased to be able to host two Sources of Strength Train-the-Trainer events in July 2019! 

  1. El Paso County, CO - July 9-12, 2019

  2. Larimer County, CO - July 29-Aug 1, 2019

The OSP and the OBH will be covering the expenses for attending participants, as well as providing travel reimbursements for individuals traveling more than 50 miles one way to attend the training. 

Please use this link to apply for one of these upcoming trainings. To learn more about the evidence-based upstream suicide prevention program Sources of Strength, please visit their website here.

State Innovation Model 

For the past four years, the Colorado State Innovation Model (SIM) initiative has helped Colorado health leaders pioneer the integration of physical, mental, and behavioral health in primary care and make other systemic changes to improve Coloradans' overall health. Part of this effort included a Population Health Workgroup coordinated by CDPHE and the Office of Suicide Prevention that focused on creating a Call to Action to transform our state's approach to the mental health of boys and men, who are disproportionately affected by the most negative outcomes associated with common mental health conditions. The Call to Action report details steps designed to help lower the rate of substance use disorders and suicide deaths among boys and men in Colorado over the next decade.

Part of the work proposed in the SIM Call to Action was for the CDPHE-led Population Health Workgroup to produce sets of recommendations to schools, local public health agencies, and policymakers on how they can advance the goals of improving boys' and men's mental health. These three documents include specific recommendations for how people who work with Coloradans to provide education or health care on a daily basis and who shape policy and funding decisions can use their positions to shift culture and practice and improve population health outcomes. 

Free Materials! 

The OSP has materials for YMHFA, SafeTALK, and QPR available for organizations needing financial assistance to provide community trainings. Click the links to request material assistance while supplies last! (there is also funding to support Mental Health First Aid Trainings in Colorado - more information here).

RESOURCES - Hot off the Press!

Have a S.A.F.E. summer! A reminder from the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Project ChildSafe

During the summer months, when children are more likely to be home and unsupervised, it's important to remind gun owners to store their firearms securely when not in use. Summer serves as a reminder that proper firearms storage is the #1 way to help prevent firearms accidents, theft and misuse, including suicide. S.A.F.E. serves as an acronym that reminds everyone:

  • Store your firearms responsibly when not in use.

  • Always practice firearms safety.

  • Focus on your responsibilities as a firearms owner.

  • Education is key to preventing accidents.

Please visit Project ChildSafe’s resources page for specific S.A.F.E. Summer tools and content that you can share with your customers, members and/or fellow community members.

New Research from the Trevor Project

In case you haven't seen it yet, the Trevor Project just released their inaugural National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health.

Amy Green, the Director of Research, summarizes the findings below:

The survey included nearly 35,000 LGBTQ youth respondents between the ages of 13 and 24 from every state in the United States. Our study found that 39 percent of LGBTQ youth surveyed have seriously considered suicide in the past twelve months, with more than half of transgender and non-binary youth having seriously considered suicide. Nearly 1 in 5 LGBTQ youth in our study attempted suicide in the past twelve months, with nearly 1 in 3 transgender and non-binary youth having attempted.

Our study also found that conversion therapy is impacting LGBTQ youth across the country and putting them at higher risk of negative mental health outcomes. Two out of every three LGBTQ youth report that someone attempted to convince them to change their sexual orientation or gender identity, with youth who have undergone conversion therapy more than twice as likely to attempt suicide as those who did not. 42 percent of LGBTQ youth who underwent conversion therapy reported a suicide attempt in the last year, with 57 percent of transgender and non-binary youth who have undergone conversion therapy reporting a suicide attempt over the past 12 months. Additionally, our study found that rates of suicide attempts were twice as high among respondents who reported being discriminated against or physically threatened due to their sexual orientation or gender identity, compared to those who did not. Further, 76 percent of the respondents felt that recent politics impacted their mental health or sense of self.

Additionally, here is the press release.

Colorado 2019 Legislative Session in Review

It was a whirlwind session again this year, read up on the highlights in the Legislation in Review from Colorado Health Institute.

Expanding Options for VA Care

Learn more about the goals of the MISSION Act and how you or a loved one can get the care you need if you’ve ever served in the armed forces. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie on what Veterans can expect after June 6: “ Less red tape, more satisfaction and predictability for patients, more efficiency for our clinicians, and better value for taxpayers. Veterans will be eligible to get community care for a variety of reasons, including when VA can’t provide the treatment they need or when care outside our system is in the best medical interest of the patient.” 

The Intersection of Opioid Abuse, Overdose, and Suicide: Understanding the Connections

The Intersection of Opioid Abuse, Overdose, and Suicide: The Role of Chronic Pain

These webinars from SAMHSA’s Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies (CAPT) and Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) explore the connections between opioid abuse, overdose, and suicide. Read: SPRC Director’s Corner: The Suicide and Opioid Link: Translating Knowledge into Action

Webinar: The Connections between Opioid Use, Overdose, and Suicide 
This webinar focuses on the association between opioid dosage and suicide risk in VHA patients.

Housing Forums

Housing Colorado, Department of Local Affairs, Division of Housing (DOH) and Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) are pleased to host five statewide Outreach and Engagement Forums.

Participants will hear from these four organizations on policies, programs, and recent housing-related legislation. Through facilitated discussions, participants will provide perspective and opinions on how existing programs are working, where additional funding could be most useful and effective, and the resource, research and technical assistance needs of their communities.

Douglas County Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)*

This training is sponsored by Douglas County School District, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Douglas/Arapahoe Suicide Prevention Alliance (DASPA), Douglas County Government—Philip S Miller Grant, Rotary Club Castle Pines, and many other community sponsors. 

When: September 10-11, October 23-24 

Where: Douglas County Sheriff’s Office — Highlands Ranch Substation, 9250 Zotos Drive, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129 (Highlands Ranch Pkwy/Ridgeline) 

What: Two-day workshop in suicide intervention skills. Learn and practice this life-saving intervention model that is widely used by professionals and the general public. 

Register by emailing Phyllis Harvey  

Bridging the Divide Registration now open! September 27, 2019 from 8am-4pm at the Drake Center in Fort Collins. 

This year’s theme: Enhancing Community Impact and Engagement in Suicide Prevention. 

Partners for Children’s Mental Health Zero Suicide Academy for Pediatric Settings

Partners for Children’s Mental Health is pleased to invite pediatric health care providing organizations to participate in the Zero Suicide Academy®.

The Zero Suicide Academy is a two-day training for implementation teams that want to elevate care and safety for those at risk for suicide. Participants will learn how to incorporate best and promising practices to improve identification, treatment, and engagement in care for individuals at risk for suicide. Participating practices in the academy will have the opportunity to participate in the launch of a suicide care pathway for pediatric health care systems in Colorado.

When: October 14 and 15, 2019

Location: University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado

Click here for more information or copy and paste the following link into a new browser window:

2019 Colorado Safe Schools Summit

Registration is NOW OPEN! 

When: Thursday & Friday, October 24 and 25
Where: Adams 12 Five Star Schools Conference Center 
What: Four wonderful keynoters and 24 fabulous workshops 
Who: Sponsored by the Colorado School Safety Resource Center, the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence at CU-Boulder and Safe2Tell. 


New Resource Examines Health Center and Housing Partnerships

Addressing Health Equity through Health and Housing Partnerships:

Health equity describes the ability of all people to access care and achieve good health without regard to race, income, neighborhood or community, housing status, or other characteristics. Institutional racism and segregation produce unequal access to opportunities for education, employment, and wealth in the form of homeownership, leading to gaps in social determinants of health (e.g.  housing stability) which have driven and continue to reinforce significant health disparities. 

This resource explores how health centers and supportive housing providers, both of which target underserved populations and operate with holistic, client-centered approach to care, are uniquely positioned to advance health equity and offers suggestions for how health centers and supportive housing providers can work together and on their own to identify and address disparities and advance health equity.

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