Suicide report shows improvement with continued need for intervention and education

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 2019 Annual Report.  

Although Mesa County’s rate of deaths due to suicide decreased from 2018, it remains higher than state and national comparisons. In 2019, there were approximately 13 suicide-related visits to an emergency department for every death reported. 

Data included in the report also show an increase (nearly double) in the amount of Suicide Risk Screeners (SRS) conducted at Mesa County Valley School District 51. A screener is completed when there is concern about a student and used to help determine the level of intervention required.  This could be seen as a positive trend in the sense that it signals increased staff and student awareness and concern about behaviors that may be warning signs. Approximately 42% of reports are from staff reporting the need for SRS.

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.

The annual report is published online at health.mesacounty.us. For local resources and to learn more about community collaboration visit the suicide prevention page on healthymesacounty.org.

 

 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.

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