Programs are here to help prevent suicide

Thank you, Linda Lute (Creating Community, Herald, March 16) for bringing attention to the subject of suicide, a topic that we avoid all too frequently in our society. When we, as a community, are able to lift the veil of shame and fear from the discussion of suicide, we become mobilized to address the issue in a proactive way.

I wanted to shed light on some other suicide-prevention efforts that are ongoing in our community. The Ignacio Community Collaboration and SUCAP offer two low-cost trainings in this community focused on suicide prevention and intervention.

The first, safeTALK, is a short, three-hour training for anyone who might come into contact with a person at risk of suicide. This could be an educator, sponsor, shopkeeper, bartender or mentor. The focus is to build capacity to identify a person at risk and be able to connect them with local emergency resources that can help. Upcoming safeTALK trainings will occur on April 29, May 19 and June 22.

The second, ASIST, is a two-day training for caregivers who want to feel more comfortable and confident in helping prevent the immediate risk of suicide. These trainings are scheduled for April 28-29 and May 26-27.

For more information about either of these trainings, contact Harlene Russell at 759-5201.

Another important suicide-prevention resource in La Plata and Montezuma counties is Second Wind Fund of the Four Corners, a nonprofit that helps provide free therapeutic services to youths at risk of suicide but who are un- or under-insured for mental-health services.

After a referral is made, a family may choose from a roster of therapists who have specific training or experience in helping youths who experience suicidal thoughts. Sometimes, the young person can be seen within days of a referral.

Keep an eye out for information about our upcoming adventure race in September.

For more information about Second Wind Fund, please contact Lillian Ramey at 946-9586.

Traci Rock, board member, Second Wind Fund of the Four Corners, Bayfield