Thursday REPS meeting to call for suicide-prevention volunteers

If you go

What: Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide

When: Noon to 1 p.m. Thursday

Where: Craig Mental Health, 439 Breeze St.

Call: Anngie Sparks, REPS of Moffat County program coordinator, at 826-2329. The meeting is for anyone interested in volunteering to help with suicide prevention efforts in Moffat County.

Moffat County suicides, by year:

1999: 2

2000: 4

2001: 5

2002: 4

2003: 3

2004: 3

2005: 6

2006: 7

2007: 1

2008: 4

2009: 2

It is a problem that has no commonality and one that has claimed more than 40 lives in Moffat County the past 10 years.

"It crosses all boundaries," said Anngie Sparks, the program coordinator for Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide of Moffat County.

Suicide, she said, always is a public health concern, and REPS now is in the process of seeking people interested in volunteering to prevent it.

REPS, which has two to 10 volunteers at any given time, is hosting a meeting from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday at Craig Mental Health, 439 Breeze St., for anyone interested in volunteering.

Currently, REPS has three people volunteering to help the organization, and Sparks.

Group volunteers help educate the public and raise funds, and, should they go through the right training, counsel people contemplating suicide. Volunteer efforts have one goal in mind, Sparks said.

"It's all targeted toward prevention," she said. "That's our primary goal, preventing suicide in Moffat County."

Since 1999, 41 people have died in Moffat County from suicide, according to figures from county coroner Owen Grant.

Sparks said the biggest cause behind suicide is untreated depression.

REPS attempts to get information out that may help people before they make a decision they can't take back.

"There are options available," Sparks said, "to get help."

She listed calling Craig Mental Health at 824-6541, visiting the local Emergency Room, reaching out to friends, family, physicians or counselors and/or calling the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK, as some of those options.

REPS meets once a month, on the third Thursday at Craig Mental Health.

This Thursday's meeting is open to the public. For more information, call Sparks at 826-2329.

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