Office of Suicide Prevention
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Edition 24 | May 2020
This is a monthly newsletter from CDPHE regarding the Office of Suicide Prevention.
Rockstar Partner Spotlight

Michelle Gonzales
Jeffco Public Schools Suicide Prevention Coordinator

In the non-profit, private, and public school sectors, Michelle has devoted the last 25 years to supporting mental wellness and healthy futures of young people in her community. She has been a counselor for Jeffco Public Schools since 2005 and has worked for Jeffco’s department of Student Services for the last 5 years. When Jeffco Public Schools had a Mill Levy override in November of 2018, allowing Jeffco to focus more specifically on mental health, including suicide prevention, Michelle ran full speed toward the work. She began researching, learning, and networking with leading organizations on a local and national scale to help bring the most effective efforts to Jeffco. She was determined to not settle for anything less than a suicide prevention model that would make a meaningful difference in the lives of students, staff, and families. Michelle often says, “We are not interested in simply checking a box to say we do suicide prevention. It’s the lifesaving impact that the right kind of programming can have on our community that matters most.” She is a Jeffco grad herself, has children in Jeffco schools, and cares deeply about the mental health and wellness of her community.

To read more about Michelle's accomplishments, click here.

Way to go, Michelle!

Do you have a Rockstar Partner in your community that you would like to see featured in our next newsletter? Nominate them here by completing our Rockstar Partner Nomination Form.

Office of Suicide Prevention Updates

Preventing Suicide Through Lethal Means Counseling In Emergency Care: Latest Research And Prevention Resources: Tuesday May 26, 2020, 1-2 p.m. MT. Lethal means safety, or reducing access to firearms and other suicide methods during periods of crisis, is an evidence-based strategy to prevent suicide. In this webinar, the Colorado School of Public Health and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will provide an update on recent research on lethal means counseling in emergency care as a strategy for suicide prevention.

SAFETY Study results 
The Colorado Violent Death Reporting System has recently completed a new report on Suicide among Older adults. Health Watch No. 111: Older Adult Suicide in Colorado, 2013-2017, Colorado Violent Death Reporting System, looks at those Colorado residents over age 65 who died by suicide. The report can be accessed here as well as on our CoVDRS webpage. For specific resources for Older Adults, see Resource Section below!

The Office of Suicide Prevention (OSP) has recently created a two-part webinar to support schools and youth-serving organizations with their suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention policies, and includes information from a variety of mental health toolkits.

Training & Materials

Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS)
In light of COVID-19, the OSP has postponed all in-person CAMS trainings and plans to host a virtual training in June 2020. If you are interested in participating, please sign up to receive more information here. To learn more about the training, visit the CAMS-Care website.

RESOURCES - Hot Off The Press!

The most current COVID-19 news and updates from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) can be found on Colorado’s COVID-19 website

This infographic discusses the racial inequities experienced through COVID-19.

The Latino Community Foundation of Colorado released: COVID-19 Impact on Latinos and Immigrants: A report on Colorado nonprofit organizations and communities

Providing Suicide Care During COVID-19: Resources from

A Guide to Providing Mental Health Services to Immigrants Impacted by Changes to DACA and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Colorado COVID Relief Fund: COVID-19 has created far-reaching economic and social impacts across Colorado and access to critical services and opportunities due to race and socioeconomic status are being especially hit hard and disproportionately affected. Final application deadline: May 30, 7:00 p.m. MT.

Older Adults
May is Older Americans Month! Check out this year’s theme, Make Your Mark, here.

Sound Affects: A music program that connects professional musicians with individuals living in senior care facilities to provide performances, including virtual options in light of COVID-19. 

LinkAGES Colorado: A collaborative effort to address social isolation through intentional intergenerational programming, including virtual connectivity options via Zoom or telephone. 

CSU Extension: COVID-19 Resources for Older Adults webpage

SAGE of the Rockies: offers online programs to support socialization and wellness for LGBTQ older adults. 

Firearm Safety
Rocky Mountain PBS published this article, discussing the spike in gun sales in Colorado and suicide prevention. 

Project ChildSafe, an NSSF program promoting firearms safety and education, has released this brochure outlining firearm safety, and this Firearm Storage and Safety Assessment Quiz, which allows gun owners to test their firearm safety knowledge.

Law Enforcement

Videos & Podcasts
The Colorado Department of Agriculture published Rusty’s Story, a video about mental health in the agriculture community, along with a corresponding Rural Mental Health Toolkit.

Punk Rock Pariah hosted two suicidology podcasts: Episode 116 - Punk Rock Pariah Presents Break Down the Walls No.2 and Episode 117 - Punk Rock Pariah Presents Break Down the Walls No.3

All episodes of Suicide 'n' Stuff are approached through a critical, informal suicidology lens.

Ring the Alarm. The Crisis of Black Youth Suicide in America - A report to congress from the Congressional Black Caucus Emergency Task Force on black youth suicide and mental health.

Stories of Resilience
The Aspen Times released this article discussing how the City of Aspen has recently partnered with agencies for mental health and substance abuse programs.

Cross-Pollinated Resources
Resources from LiveWell Colorado:

  • Find Colorado Proud products for your business or home HERE.  
  • Track current resources for local and regional food systems HERE.
  • Find the latest and greatest public health and food safety information for farms HERE.
  • Learn which Markets are accepting Double Up Food Bucks, as well as drop off, pick up, and delivery HERE.

This Regional Meal Assessment shows what school districts are providing what type of meal services and other regional food access resources.

This buyer-grower matchmaking tool matches farmers needs with resources.

Upcoming Events

Rural Primary Care Tools and Resources for Managing Suicidal Ideation during COVID-19 webinar on June 2, 2020 @ 1:00 p.m. MT

Addressing the Intersection of Substance Use and Suicide: Strategies for Prevention, Intervention and Treatment webinar, June 3, 2020 @ 11:00 MT.

The virtual Higher Education Summer Safety Symposium for campus safety professionals, administrators, mental health professionals, law enforcement, faculty members and anyone who works in institutes of higher education, will be held on June 11, 2020, 8:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. 

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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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