Office of Suicide Prevention
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Edition 6 | November 2018
This is a monthly newsletter from CDPHE regarding the Office of Suicide Prevention.


Welcome to the November 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!

This month, we would like to turn our attention to how we support ourselves, our loved ones, and our community during the approaching holiday season. While we know that suicide rates are not highest in the Winter (nationally, suicide rates are highest in the Spring), the holiday season and transition into colder days and longer nights can be challenging, especially for those of us who are impacted by suicide and suicide loss. This issue of the OSP newsletter includes resources for those with lived experience related to suicide and suicide loss.

Here are some tips for self-care during the holiday season

Rockstar Partner Spotlight!

Susan Marine, Tireless Advocate

As Chair of Advocacy for the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado (SPCC), Susan Marine has worked tirelessly for the passage of four suicide prevention bills since 2012. She’s enjoyed building relationships with legislators, the Office of Suicide Prevention, SPCC members and others who work in the field of suicide prevention. Earlier this year she was recognized by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention as “Field Advocate of the Year.” Susan also represents SPCC on the Suicide Prevention Commission of Colorado and remains active in the HOPE Coalition of Boulder County.

Fifteen years ago, Susan knew nothing of suicide. In 2003 her son, Kevin, died of suicide; four years later her daughter, Alice, died the same way. Afterward she vowed to do whatever possible to save other parents this terrible kind of loss. Working as a volunteer, Susan has found it possible to impact all of Colorado by passing a bill into law. She views her advocacy a fitting tribute to her children.

Thank you Susan for your passion and dedication in moving Colorado forward.

Office of Suicide Prevention Updates

The annual report is here! 
Each year the Office of Suicide Prevention submits a report to the General Assembly and Governor’s Office with the status of current initiatives and highlighting recommendations and next steps for suicide prevention in Colorado.

How to Talk to Children and Youth- Mental Health and Suicide Prevention new guide on how to have those difficult conversions, which can be found on our newly updated Youth suicide prevention resources website

Colorado National Collaborative

On October 18-19th, approximately 60 people gathered at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus in Denver for 1 ½ days to discuss a rather bold and ambitious proposal: Would it be possible, if a group of Colorado counties came together to implement a comprehensive, data driven, and integrated approach to suicide prevention, to show a reduction in suicide rates? According to our national, state, and local partners, we have the research, knowledge base, tools, and evidence that shows “what works,” but due to available funding and human capital, these strategies have primarily been implemented in a “piecemeal fashion” which limits community, system and population level change. Six Colorado counties have joined the Colorado National Collaborative to do just that. Much of the work is already underway in Larimer, Mesa, El Paso, Pueblo, La Plata and Montezuma counties to include priorities such as Zero Suicide, the Gun Shop Project, Sources of Strength, and more. However to make the approach comprehensive, additional funding and resources are needed where “burden” is highest (e.g., middle aged men, older seniors, LGBTQ, Veterans, industries such as construction and trades). If you have questions about this exciting initiative, contact James Gallanos.

New MIRECC Short Takes Podcast featuring Youth Suicide Prevention Coordinator Lena Heilmann

Lena Heilmann lost her sister Danielle to suicide in 2012. In response to this traumatic loss and as a way to honor her sister, Lena transitioned from her role as a college professor to working in suicide prevention. Now, as the Youth Suicide Prevention Coordinator with the Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention, Lena merges her lived experience with coordinating a SAMHSA Youth Suicide Prevention Grant. In this podcast, Lena talks about how her grief and loss survivor identity inform her work and her personal mission. This podcast  also addresses the role of upstream prevention efforts, an overview of suicide prevention work in Colorado, the importance of authentic interpersonal relationships, and how to prioritize self-care when working in the suicide prevention field.


The OSP will present opportunities to cover costs for CAMS (Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality) training for select mental health and behavioral health providers in 2019. If you are interested in being notified of CAMS trainings sponsored by the Office of Suicide Prevention in 2019, please sign up here. Please email with any questions.


Request Materials!

The OSP has materials for MHFA, SafeTALK, and QPR available for organizations needing financial assistance to provide community trainings. Click the links to request material assistance while supplies last!


In the field of suicide prevention, we usually define postvention as the services and support offered to individuals, families and friends, organizations, and communities mourning a loved one’s death by suicide. At the Office of Suicide Prevention, we expand the definition of postvention to include the support and services offered to individuals and their families and friends after surviving a suicide attempt or other experiences of suicidality. This month, we would like to share postvention resources for those directly impacted by suicide and suicide loss.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)’s resources on suicide loss

Our local AFSP-Colorado chapter

Postvention Resources for Communities and Organizations

A blog post by Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas on “Men and Suicide Loss: An Often Invisible Grief

Dr. Stacey Freedenthal’s blog Speaking of Suicide includes resources and information for survivors of suicide attempts and survivors of suicide loss.

The Way Forward: Pathways to Hope, Recovery, and Wellness with Insights from Lived Experience


Save the Dates for Zero Suicide

Zero Suicide is a commitment to suicide prevention in health and behavioral health care systems and is also a specific set of strategies and tools.  Most community mental health centers, some hospitals, and other healthcare systems are currently implementing Zero Suicide. Join the movement to zero in Colorado!  

Interested in learning more?  Attend a “Zero Suicide 101” Webinar on December 6, 2018 from 1pm - 3pm.  Contact for details.


Let your voice be heard! Public comment is sought to improve the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by adding a 3 digit dialing code. Comment period closes December 10, 2018.


The 2019 Rocky Mountain Research Training Institute (RTI) will be held June 19-21, in Denver. This annual event is generally held at the Univesity of Rochester Medical Center, Injury Control Reseach Center for Suicide Prevention. This year’s RTI will focus on bringing together teams from across Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West to create collaborative and sustainable partnerships between practitioners and researchers to help support and advance the field of suicide prevention. The RTI is looking for teams of 2 individuals to submit proposals for projects and initiatives that can be readily evaluated and ideally documented for replication in other Rocky Mountain communities. Funding for travel and accommodations will be available for selected teams. Applications will be accepted until January 11th. If interested in receiving an application, please contact  


Funding available for Student Leaders in Public Health. Student Leaders in Public Health is a field placement and leadership program funded by the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) through the Public Health Training Centers Program.

In this new round of funding, HRSA has increased the stipend amount to $3,500, increased the number of stipends to 27 for the Rocky Mountain Region, and extended the reach to other public health-related graduate and undergraduate programs (e.g., psychology, sociology, social work).  

Qualifications and Project Requirements
Student must be a US citizen, US national or foreign national possessing a visa permitting permanent residence in US.
- Student must be enrolled in higher education program in CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY (undergraduate or graduate with priority given to public health students).
- Project impact must be with an underserved community/population in the Rocky Mountain Region.
- Project must involve at least 200 hours of effort and be substantially completed by June 30, 2019.
Total of 27 available stipends for the Rocky Mountain Region. Projects may be field placements (internship/practicum/capstone) or faculty-student collaborations (research project, etc).
- Students receive $3,500 and are required to have 2 final deliverables (paper and a poster or presentation).

Student Application:
Application deadline is February 15, 2019.


Youth Housing Programs RFA

This RFA allows applicants to apply for State Housing Vouchers, Rapid Rehousing funding, and Host Homes programs! DOH will be hosting an informational webinar about this RFA that will be recorded and shared on the website. Applications due December 17, 2018

The Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado (SPCC) is looking for Board Members. The SPCC hopes to widen its Board membership to areas all over Colorado. If you are interested in expanding your suicide prevention involvement at the State level please review the Board Roles and Responsibilities here. Applications for Board membership are due no later than December 15, 2018 at 5pm. The application can be accessed here. Please email application or questions to


Blueprint to End Hunger

During October’s quarterly meeting, Colorado’s Suicide Prevention Commission invited Jennifer Banyan, of R-Evolution Consulting, to discuss the Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger, which combines story telling and data, policy recommendations, community and system strategies to end hunger. Food security leads to lower levels of stress, decreased depression, and significantly lower rates of suicide in adolescents. In an effort to develop and implement broad strategies that impact social determinants of health and build communities of caring and safety, it is imperative that suicide prevention focus some of our attention, efforts, and funding by prioritizing shared risk and protective factors, including economic stability and food security.

Contact to join a Commission work group focused on strengthening economic supports as a way to lead to community-level resilience!

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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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