Four ways to support organizations locally—and become a better mental health advocate.
There are plenty of ways to help advance the cause of suicide prevention—and reduce the stigma surrounding this important topic. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's annual community walks are just one example. (Photo courtesy of JK Photography)
The Colorado chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is hosting a night at Coors Field. While the Rockies take on the Los Angeles Dodgers, a portion of your ticket price will benefit the AFSP. Bonus: There will be a postgame fireworks display. Friday, September 25, 6:10 p.m., $20–$30, rockies.com/afsp
Support the youth suicide prevention work of Second Wind Fund during the 14th annual Second Wind Walk/Run—choose between the one-mile, three-mile, and 5K routes—at Littleton’s Clement Park, which is preceded by a memorial dove release. Registration includes lunch and a T-shirt. Sunday, September 27, 10 a.m.–3 p.m., $25–$45
(Also check out AFSP’s Out of the Darkness Community Walks, which are held throughout the country. Denver’s is on October 3 at Coors Field.)
Give Your Time
The 11-year-old Carson J Spencer Foundation is widely lauded for its innovative suicide prevention programs. Lend a hand by working with youth to develop strategies for improving wellness and resiliency among their peers through the Fire Within program or by volunteering to fill iCare packages for people bereaved by suicide.
It takes a village to save a life—but most of us have no idea what the symptoms of a mental health crisis are. Suicide prevention advocates want to make that type of training as common as CPR. We’ve got plenty of work to do to reach that goal, but there are a number of effective programs in Colorado:
- Learn LivingWorks’ ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) model during a two-day workshop. You can also opt for the half-day safeTALK program.
- QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer) teaches anyone to become a gatekeeper, meaning you’ll learn to spot the warning signs of a suicide crisis—and, most important, where to refer someone for help. You can complete the course in about an hour online ($29.95).
- For a more general understanding of mental illness, become certified in Mental Health First Aid. Full-day courses are held regularly throughout the state; find a list of locations here.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 1-844-493-TALK(8255), or visit coloradocrisisservices.org.