House Passes Bill to Reduce Suicide Deaths

DENVER, CO– The House today passed legislation sponsored by Representatives Lindsey Daugherty and Janice Rich to reduce suicide deaths in Colorado.

“Far too many Coloradans have felt the gut-wrenching sadness and heartbreak of a suicide attempt,” said Rep. Lindsey Daugherty, D-Arvada. “Today, we’re taking action to ensure that Colorado has a comprehensive approach to stopping suicide deaths. The bill expands a critical grant program so that more students and teachers are trained to support youth in crisis. Importantly, by focusing on the aftermath of a suicide attempt, the bill ensures individuals and communities have the support they need to prevent future tragedies.”

HB21-1119  expands the Crisis and Suicide Training Grant Program to include “‘train-the-trainer” programs at public schools and funds peer-to-peer specialist programs that help students support their classmates. The bill incorporates postvention and follow-up care into the state’s comprehensive suicide prevention approach to support individuals and communities in the aftermath of a suicide attempt. Importantly, CDPHE will update the department’s suicide prevention resources to include region-specific information for primary care providers on how to recognize and respond to suicidal patients, including information that can be shared with patients and information for health facilities to share upon a patient’s release. 

Research shows that people who have known someone who died by suicide were 1.6 times more likely to have suicidal thoughts, 2.9 times more likely to have a plan for suicide themselves, and 3.7 times more likely to have attempted suicide. Suicide has become a far more common cause of death among peace officers, medical professionals, and school-aged children. Children or adolescents who know about a friend’s suicide attempt are nearly twice as likely to attempt suicide themselves.

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