Letter to the Editor:
Colorado has the 6th highest rate of suicide in the nation. 867 Coloradans died by suicide in 2010 – there were 447 in the seven county metro area. The largest number of suicides is among men of working age (35 to 54). These men are sons, husbands, fathers, wage earners. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among young people (ages 10 to 34) who then do not have the opportunity to live out their potential. Men over age 75 are at highest risk. A death by suicide affects the entire community; it has a profound impact on family and friends, and the workplace, and results in an untold loss of productivity.
House Bill 1140, sponsored by Representative Matt Jones and Senator Linda Newell, will help prevent suicide. If passed, it will ask hospitals to provide information about suicide (risk factors, signs, and sources of help) to family and friends to whom a suicidal person is being discharged. The State Office of Suicide Prevention would work with hospitals to develop appropriate materials. Suicidal persons who go to the hospital are often those who have attempted suicide, and these individuals are at serious risk for eventually dying of suicide. Any effort that gets information into the hands of those closest to suicidal persons will help save lives.
Our son might still be alive if we had been informed that he was at very high risk because of a number of factors. He had just been discharged from the hospital, but we received no information about these risks. If we had known these things, we would never have left him alone the day he died by his own hand.
Board, Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado