Office of Suicide Prevention
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Edition 31 | December 2020
This is a monthly newsletter from CDPHE regarding the Office of Suicide Prevention.


Welcome to the December 2020 Office of Suicide Prevention newsletter!
Rockstar Partner Spotlight!

Sophia Hayner serves in the Veteran's Service Office at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction. Her background as an advocate began with her own battle with suicidal thinking in 2016. After losing her brother to suicide in 2018, she founded an island-wide suicide loss support group for all active duty and dependents on Okinawa. Now she's in process of co-founding a university group to address suicide in a proactive peer centered manner. The group's goal is to provide education, spread awareness, and be a resource of peers by peers on the topics of suicide, suicide awareness, and to be a forward-thinking cog/piece in the postvention movement in our community. The group's plan is to be a safe space for anyone who needs it while making it clear that they are not medical professionals. Their purpose is to be available as supportive peers and to make sure that they are offering contact information for professionals if a person needs them. 

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

Annual Legislative Report
The Office of Suicide Prevention has submitted its 2019-2020 legislative report of activities and initiatives in Colorado. To read the full report, click here.

The impact of COVID-19 on suicide
Suicide is complex and rarely the result of one cause. Various intersecting circumstances can contribute to someone feeling suicidal. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than half of people (54%) who died by suicide did not have a known mental health condition. Other factors, such as relationship problems, financial hardship, chronic pain, and feeling isolated, can all contribute to someone feeling suicidal.

During COVID-19, Colorado has not seen a statistically significant change in suicide rates across the agespan (fatality data is available through August 2020) compared to previous years, according to state mortality data. This holds true for youth (ages 10-24) suicide rates, as well.

It is difficult to predict the impact of COVID-19 on suicide rates. While the pandemic has left some individuals in a heightened state of isolation, others feel more connected to their families or communities as a result of changes to daily routines.

It is important for suicide prevention to continue to mitigate the risk factors that could contribute to someone feeling suicidal and to bolster protective factors that reduce the likelihood of someone feeling suicidal or attempting to die by suicide. Crucial to a comprehensive suicide prevention approach is understanding how various crises, including COVID-19, can impact both risk and protective factors. Regardless of whatever crisis is in front of us, we should continue to strengthen economic supports, strengthen access and delivery of culturally appropriate and affirming suicide care, create protective environments, and promote connectedness.

Updated Colorado Suicide Data Dashboard
The Colorado Suicide Data Dashboard has been updated with 2018 CoVDRS data, and 2019 Death Certificate data. The updated dashboard can be accessed at the CoVDRS new web page. The data user guide has also been updated to reflect some of the new data elements and functionality which should be used with the dashboard.

Man Therapy
We’ve updated the Man Therapy webpage with a new look and new functionality to sort Colorado resources! Take a look at and the new partner page at

Order Materials 
To order Man Therapy and other suicide prevention materials, please fill out and send this order form to To order QPR, safeTALK or MHFA materials click the embedded links to be directed to the virtual order form.

New Health Watch Report
The Mortality Surveillance Unit in CDPHE, just wrapped up a new descriptive Health Watch report using Colorado Violent Death Reporting System Data. Health Watch No. 112: Suicide in Colorado, 2014-2018: A Summary from the Colorado Violent Death Reporting System, contains the most current CoVDRS data looking at suicide among Colorado residents. The report can be accessed at the CoVDRS new web page.

Zero Suicide Colorado Learning Collaborative
Every month we hold an interactive online Learning Collaborative for health system leaders working in suicide prevention. Experts in health care-based suicide prevention, advocates who speak on their lived experience, and a diverse array of other guest speakers join health system leaders from across Colorado in discussing state of the art approaches to improving care and saving lives. The next collaborative will take place on Thursday, January 28, 2021 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. MT. To be contacted for the next collaborative, please email


Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS)
In light of COVID-19, the OSP has moved all CAMS trainings to a virtual platform. If you are a behavioral health provider interested in participating, sign up to receive more information here. To learn more about the training, visit 

LivingWorks Start Training
The OSP is pleased to provide our partners across Colorado FREE access to the LivingWorks Start suicide prevention gatekeeper training. LivingWorks Start is a one-hour, online, interactive training program that gives you the skills and knowledge to keep family, friends, co-workers, and others safe from suicide. For more information, click here.

To access the training, click here and enter access code: OSP Gen. Please note that we have a limited number of licenses available for use available on a first come, first served basis. Please do not share the URL and access code outside of Colorado.

*LivingWorks Start works best with Google Chrome, Firefox, or Microsoft Edge browsers. It is not Internet Explorer compatible. If you have any questions or issues accessing the training, please contact Dymond Ruybal at

Suicide Prevention Training for Domestic Violence Advocates
The OSP is partnering with the Education Development Center (EDC) to provide a suicide prevention training for domestic violence and crime victim advocates in Colorado in 2021. Stay tuned for additional details or if you’re interested in directly receiving more information, please fill out this interest list.

Intentional Peer Support Training
The OSP is partnering with IPS to provide their Core, Advanced, and Train the Trainer trainings to peer support specialists in Colorado in 2021. Stay tuned for additional details or if you’re interested in directly receiving more information, please fill out this interest list.

Alternatives to Suicide Training
The OSP is partnering with Western Mass Recovery Learning Community to provide their Alternatives to Suicide training to peer support specialists in Colorado in 2021. Stay tuned for additional details or if you’re interested in directly receiving more information, please fill out this interest list.

RESOURCES - Hot off the Press!


Colorado Spirit Counseling 
The Colorado Spirit Crisis Counseling and Training Program (CCP) is designed to support individuals and communities impacted by the challenges of COVID-19. The program aims to promote recovery, resilience, and empowerment while strengthening existing community support systems by helping with the emotional needs of survivors and those affected by the pandemic.

Colorado State University now offers services for adults in Colorado who have recently experienced suicidality. Read more here or directly access the Referral Link here

Grants Awarded to Care for Kids and Support Learning Amid COVID-19 Disruptions
Caring for Colorado Foundation announced $800,000 in grants to 40 schools, after-school programs and community-based organizations in 25 counties across the state. 


My Mental Health Crisis Plan, a new mobile app released by SAMHSA, allows individuals who have serious mental illness (SMI) to create a plan to guide their treatment during a mental health crisis.

Greater Resilience Information Toolkit (GRIT) - Provides resilience and wellness resources for many different groups including mental health providers, first responders, medical providers, community members/leaders, teachers and schools, veterans, youth and family, and emergency management.


Resources for the construction industry: United Suicide Survivors International in partnership with Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas have launched a website highlighting global resources to help companies, professional associations and construction leaders take steps to prevent suicide, promote wellbeing, and offer support to workers bereaved by suicide:

Older Adults

engAGED has developed several video vignettes highlighting how Area Agency on Aging of Dane County, Baltimore County Department of Aging and Cowlitz Indian Tribe adapted their programs in response to COVID-19 to address the increased social isolation of older adults—and can be used by your organization to promote the benefits of social engagement in your community.

Cross-Pollinated Resources

The National Harm Reduction Coalition released a NEW national resource designed for people who use drugs to locate where they can get naloxone for free. They vetted each and every program to ensure that naloxone is specifically for people who use drugs.


QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) suicide prevention trainings by Jefferson Center:

QPR Train-the-Trainer Virtual Courses. See the 2021 schedule here

Building Capacity of School Personnel to Promote Positive Mental Health in Native American Children and Youth. January 13, 2021 @ 3:00 p.m.
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