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31 March 2013

I took a PAFOS display to The Mesa County Suicide Prevention Summit. There were faces and stories from all over the USA.  Heartbeat and NAMI Western Slope were there.

I look back on that day and remember two things. I was anxious to speak in public and the vibe of the event was defeatist. Nobody knew what to do. In Mesa County, Colorado, there were forty-four people lost to suicide in 2011, forty-seven in 2012, and twenty-nine in 2013. Did the summit help? Did we (Mesa County health officials) keep records of what helped? Not really. And here we are six years later and JUST NOW beginning to ask the attempt survivors for solutions.

Today I have two Heartbeat fundraisers to attend. Next week my family will support our local high school's annual mental health and suicide awareness walk. Next month NAMI's local Rise Above the Silence March will happen. Will the community attend these? I would like to say yes, but my experience is that the community at large will not. It's a harsh topic and people repeatedly, determinedly, consistently put their heads back in the sand. I will not stop. That's my promise to my daughter.

 

 

Erica KitzmanComment