Colorado’s suicide rate is climbing. Since 2009 the suicide death rate has increased each year. To put things in perspective, according to the Office of Suicide Prevention Annual Report 2014-15, the number of suicide deaths in 2014 exceeded the number of deaths from homicide (172), motor vehicle crash (486), breast cancer (553), influenza and pneumonia (668), and diabetes (826).
So what can we do?
The first step is to learn about the risk factors and warning signs and then find help for someone who may be suicidal.
Some warning signs:
- If a person talks about being a burden to others, or feeling trapped.
- Behavior changes: increased use of alcohol or drugs; acting recklessly; isolating themselves from family and friends; researching ways to kill themselves
- Mood indicators: depression, loss of interest, rage, anxiety.
For more in-depth information, visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website.
If you or someone you know shows signs of being suicidal, seek help. There are two hotlines for immediate assistance:
1-800-273-TALK, the Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and
1-844-493-TALK, the Colorado Crisis and Support Line
More information and materials on suicide prevention, can be found on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s suicide prevention site.
If you want to crunch the numbers yourself, visit the Colorado Trauma Registry (part of the Colorado Health Information Dataset). You can pick a “Quick Report” showing suicide by year, county and gender, or in the Customized Report section you can build more detailed reports to compare data by county, regions, age, and gender.
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