Resident uses forums to bring information to fellow community members

As Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) gears up to host another Suicide Prevention Community Forum on March 27 at 6 p.m. at the Mesa County Workforce Center, 512 29 ½ Road in Grand Junction, one resident finds himself in a pivotal position to help prevent suicide within a specific community group.

Mesa County resident Joe Guajardo and his wife Doris Guajardo attended the Feb. 27 Suicide Prevention Community Forum to provide feedback on what the Hispanic community of the Grand Valley needs regarding suicide prevention support. The Guajardos also plan to attend the March 27 follow up meeting to continue advocating for the needs of the Hispanic community in regard to suicide prevention.

“I am hoping to be a bridge to the Hispanic community,” Joe said. “I want to be an advocate and to inform them of all of the good resources we have in Mesa County that they perhaps aren’t aware of.”

Joe said the meetings are helpful, but the Hispanic community needs the knowledge of how to access the resources and information in Spanish.

“The Hispanic community would be more prone to get involved and attend these types of meetings if one was done in Spanish, but at the moment we aren’t ready for that. I see it as something that can be done eventually, down the road and I’m thankful for this opportunity,” Joe said.

For now, he is bringing the knowledge and information to his community, himself through his church group and by talking with friends and peers.

The March 27 meeting will include a presentation on the Community Plan, Western Colorado 211 resources and how to access them and next steps. Attendees can also expect a brief recap of the Feb. 27 forum conversations and some discussion time.

Residents who are interested in being advocates for their own community niches such as, friend groups, church groups, sports groups, etc., like Joe, are encouraged to attend the meeting tomorrow evening.

If you’d like to get involved, but can’t attend the meeting, email suicideprevention@mesacounty.us or call (970) 248-6900 with your information and how you’d like to help prevent suicide in our community.

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