If you’re struggling, or know someone who needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or text CO to 741741.
Mesa County Public Health (MCPH), along with several community partners including the Mesa County Coroner’s Office, routinely collects and analyzes data to understand suicide trends in Mesa County and shares key findings in its 2020 Annual Report.
“This report shows that suicide remains a critical issue in Mesa County. We hope the data can raise awareness and continue to guide prevention, intervention, and post-vention efforts” said Jennifer Daniels, the Suicide Prevention Coordinator at St. Mary’s Hospital who serves on the Suicide Prevention Council. The Council meets on a monthly basis to coordinate and cross-support efforts across our community.
The Annual Report shows 2020 saw an increase over 2019 in youth attempts, but no other significant changes in suicide deaths, ideation, or adult attempts. This may reflect reluctance to visit health care facilities where this is recorded. Mesa County remains higher in suicide related deaths than state and national comparisons.
Half of Mesa County suicide deaths in 2020 involved drugs or alcohol. For every death by suicide, there were approximately twelve suicide-related visits to an emergency department in Mesa County. The report shows that more males died by suicide, females were more likely to attempt suicide, and ideation was evenly split among gender. Half (50%) of people who died by suicide and had complete mental health histories had seen a behavioral health care provider at some point.
Public Health recommendations for reducing suicide in our community are:
- Increase connectedness to enhance social networks and strengthen communities.
- Maintain educational programming to generate community awareness and reduction of mental health stigma.
- Expand the amount and variety of support services for attempt and loss survivors.
- Strengthen economic support to increase stability in food, housing, and employment.
- Expand access to suicide care.
Suicide prevention is a health priority in Mesa County. MCPH and community partners are working toward the goal of a 20 percent reduction in suicide deaths by the year 2024.