Office of Suicide Prevention
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Edition 12 | May 2019
This is a monthly newsletter from CDPHE regarding the Office of Suicide Prevention.


Welcome to the May 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!

Leading the Way!

Jess Stolhmann-Rainey is a researcher, trainer, advocate and general rabble-rouser (in the best possible way).  She works as the Director of Program Development at Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners and holds the lived experience seat on Colorado’s Suicide Prevention Commission.  Jess has focused her career on creating pathways to intersectional, justice-based, emotional support for marginalized communities.  Jess has already brought this frame to the Commission’s work through the development of a new work group dedicated to investigating the use of forced treatment for individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts.  Jess was recently featured during a Thought Leader session, as well as many break out sessions at the 52nd Annual American Association of Suicidology Conference in Denver, CO. Her work has been published/featured in Mad in America, Live Through This, the RMIRECC’s Short Takes on Suicide Prevention, No Restraints with Rudy Caseras, Postvention in Action: The International Handbook of Suicide Bereavement, and The Suicide Prevention Resource Center. Jess centers her lived expertise as an ex-patient and suicide attempt and loss survivor in her work.

Thank you for all you do to help lead the way Jess!

Office of Suicide Prevention Updates

Colorado Highlighted in National Governors Association Report
With suicide rates up about 30 percent over the past two decades, the National Governors Association partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to release a summary of lessons learned on state approaches aimed to help address this concerning trend. Download the full report.

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!

Office of Health Equity - Data Fact Sheets

Inequity Fact Sheets
Differences in health status between groups are called health disparities. But when differences in health status are systemic, avoidable and unjust we understand these differences to be health inequities. And because these differences are systemic, avoidable and unjust it's critical to frame the data by providing relevant context and background. These fact sheets examine health inequities across racial and ethnic groups in Colorado to help us better understand the structural factors impacting the health of our communities.

Root Causes Fact Sheets
Health is more than just healthcare or genes — it’s our ability to afford childcare, support our youth, take part in work development opportunities, and so on. When we collaborate across sectors, share data and perspectives, and prioritize equitable approaches, we are better positioned to address these inequities effectively and affordably. These fact sheets provide a snapshot of inequities across sectors and what we can do, together, to build healthy communities.


Learn: 3rd Annual Shared Risk and Protective Factors Conference
May 29-31 in Keystone

Webinar:  Considering the Whole Person: Contexts for LGBTQ People of Color Mental and Behavioral Health Treatment
Wednesday, June 12 at 1:00 p.m.

Suicide Prevention Trainings for Crime Victim Advocates
The Education Development Center is offering a series of suicide prevention train-the-trainer courses designed specifically for crime victim advocates who are not clinical mental health professionals.

With funding support from OVC, the Center developed the HOPE curriculum (Notice Hints, Ask Openly About Suicide, Validate Pain, and Explore Reasons to Live). This prevention training curriculum is designed specifically for crime victim advocates.

HOPE prepares advocates who work with adult crime victims to properly identify, intervene, and refer individuals who are exhibiting symptoms of suicidality to appropriate care and follow-up treatment. Event participants will learn how to deliver the HOPE curriculum.

Register today for one of the following 2-day trainings:

  • July 30–31, 2019, in Denver, Colorado

  • August 1–2, 2019, in Denver, Colorado (this training is specifically for victim advocates who serve victims in Indian country)

A limited number of travel scholarships are available.

For more information, contact Jennifer Myers at

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 14th and 15th, 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:

Please contact with any questions.


Suicide is always a complex issue. There is never just one reason why someone will attempt or die by suicide. Suicide risk is the culmination of various circumstances, which can include traumatic experiences, including sexual violence. Sexual violence is a serious public health problem that affects thousands of Coloradans of all gender identites and sexual orientations every year. Students who report considering suicide are almost 6 times more likely to also report being raped in their lifetime. Suicide prevention and sexual violence prevention efforts share similar approaches, including promoting shared protective factors. It is important for suicide prevention efforts to understand the impact that experiencing sexual violence can have on cumulative suicide risk.


The State of Adolescent Sexual Health in Colorado Report - 2018-2019

Executive Summary

The 2018–2019 State of Adolescent Sexual Health (SASH) Report presents local and national findings and recommendations based on the current adolescent sexual landscape within a shared risk and protective factor framework. The report offers up-to-date statistics related to adolescent sexual health in Colorado, including adolescent sexual behavior, birth rates, STI transmission, interrelated health outcomes, and health care accessibility. Within these categories, it explores health outcome disparities associated with sexual orientation, gender identity, race/ethnicity, and geography. This report acknowledges that individuals and communities are not to blame for the disparities they face as these are the result of various underlying environmental, social, and economic factors that have set the foundation of the social norms and systems that have left communities behind.

Key Findings

  • In 2017, more than half (52.6 percent) of young people in Colorado became sexually active by the 12th grade.
  • Colorado continues to be a national leader in the number of youth using a Long Acting Reversible Contraceptive (LARC) method for contraception: 10.3 percent of sexually active youth reported using a LARC method. However, there has also been a 7.5 percent decline in youth condom use since 2013, putting young people at a greater risk of STIs.
  • From 2007 to 2017, Colorado experienced a 61 percent decrease in birth rates among young people ages 15-19. Challenges remain, however.
    • Of all births among young people, the majority (72.9 percent) were unintended pregnancies.
    • Hispanic and black youth were almost three times more likely to experience a birth at a young age compared to their white peers. Significant structural barriers such as stigma, discrimination, low socio-economic status, high unemployment rates, high poverty rates, misinformation, lack of health care coverage, and limited access to services disproportionately affect youth of color.
    • Birth rates among young people in rural counties continue to be notably higher than in urban counties and are decreasing at a much lower rate. Compared to their urban peers, youth in rural counties experience fewer economic and educational opportunities and face increased barriers to accessing health care services, including transportation challenges and a scarcity of health care professionals.
  • Reported STIs have increased significantly among youth ages 15-19 between 2016 and 2017. Gonorrhea rates increased 30.4 percent, HIV rates increased 23.3 percent, and chlamydia rates increased 7.2 percent.
  • In 2017, more than one in three transgender youth and one in ten female youth reported experiencing sexual violence in their lifetime.
  • Youth who felt connected to a trusted adult and to school were more likely to delay sexual initiation and use condoms. These connected youth were less likely to be bullied on school property or electronically, less likely to experience sexual violence, and less likely to have attempted suicide.


Based on report findings, current research, and experts in the field, the following recommendations were identified to address current trends and improve adolescent sexual health across the state:

  1. Reduce barriers and ensure equitable access to health care for all Coloradans.
  2. Strengthen educational systems to provide critical knowledge and skills that ensure young people can make autonomous and informed sexual health decisions.
  3. Build protective and supportive environments for young people so they can thrive and reach their full potential.
  4. Address underlying structural drivers that lead to adverse health outcomes among youth through policies, practices, and organizational systems. Ensure special emphasis on those drivers that lead to disparities based on sexual orientation, gender identity, race/ethnicity, and geography.

Detailed recommendations can be found on pages 19-20 of the full report.

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To improve the health, well-being and equity of all Coloradans through health promotion, prevention and access to health care.
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