Suicide Prevention Convening
The CU Depression Center has a long tradition of suicide prevention efforts that has included research conducted within the Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder, educational and postvention programs for schools and participation in public health programs such as ManTherapy. In 2013, Depression Center faculty received funding from the Colorado Trust under their Convening for Colorado program to assemble the state’s suicide prevention stakeholders and renew suicide prevention efforts in the state. The Convening drew 50 leaders from business, law enforcement, health care, media, non-profit organizations, government agencies and lawmakers. This group reviewed recent data from Colorado and the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and agreed to set a goal of a 20% reduction in the state’s suicide rate in the near future. The vision was for a new public-private partnership using data to strategically focus efforts on settings where evidence suggests rapid progress is possible such as Emergency Departments. Based on Convening recommendations, Senator Linda Newell and Representative Tracy Kraft-Tharp passed legislation creating a new Suicide Prevention Commission and naming the Depression Center to a role in the leadership of the Commission. The Depression Center also organizes an annual suicide prevention program funded by the friends and family of the late Aaron Kent Bailey. This year, the 7th Annual Aaron Kent Bailey Memorial Suicide Prevention Lecture will feature Dr. Richard McKeon, Chief of the SAMHSA Suicide Prevention Branch and will provide an opportunity for the state’s Office of Behavioral Health and Office of Suicide Prevention to join forces with the Depression Center to host the first meeting of the new statewide Colorado Crisis Services on April 22, 2015.
Ongoing progress and updates for the convening process will continue to be posted here.