Suicide prevention forum set for Thursday |

Suicide prevention forum set for Thursday

Michelle Balleck

After three suicides in Moffat County in the past month, Ronna Autrey, suicide prevention coordinator for Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide, said now is a critical time for awareness.

"Three sui­cides in a month is a real wakeup call," Autrey said.

That's why she and other REPS volunteers are hosting the Suicide, Depression and the Grief Process free community forum from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at The Memorial Hospital, 750 Hospital Loop.

"This is for anyone in the public who would like to get better educated," Autrey said. "We're hoping the more people who turn out, the more people will understand how lethal depression can be, how lethal substance abuse can be."

Autrey said the forum will focus on recognizing suicide warning signs, knowing how to help and knowing who to call when more help is needed.

REPS hosted a similar forum in July 2009 in Steamboat Springs after a suicide there left the community with many questions and concerns. The Steamboat Springs forum drew 45 attendees, which Autrey said is encouraging.

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She hopes the Craig forum will have a similar participation rate.

"The big thing we have to work on as a community is awareness and making people realize there is hope and there is help," Autrey said.

The panel at Thursday's forum will include Craig therapists Anthony Noble, a licensed clinical social worker, Peggy Sammons, a licensed professional counselor, and two suicide survivors, Barb Seed and Autrey.

The panel will answer questions about depression and suicide.

Autrey said she hopes many community members will attend the forum to educate themselves and be able to recognize warning signs in friends, neighbors, classmates and co-workers.

Through awareness, the community can begin to curtail the local suicide problem, she said.

"Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, and it does not have to happen," Autrey said. "With proper treatment for depression or another other mental illnesses that might happen to that person, with therapy or drugs, or a combination of both, there's help out there for people, and they don't have to go through this."

For more information about the Suicide, Depression and the Grief Process forum, call Ronna Autrey at 846-8182.

If you go

What: Suicide, Depression and the Grief Process free community forum

When: 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday

Where: The Memorial Hospital, 750 Hospital Loop

Call: Ronna Autrey at 846-8182

Warning signs

Changes in activity or energy level such as:

• Decreased energy

• Fatigue

• Lethargy

• Diminished activity

• Insomnia or hypersomnia

• Loss of interest in pleasurable activities

• Social withdrawal

Physical changes:

• Unexpected aches and pains

• Weight loss or gain

• Decreased or increased appetite

• Psychomotor agitation or retardation

Emotional pain:

• Prolonged sadness

• Unexplained, uncontrollable crying

• Feelings of guilt

• Feelings of worthlessness

• Loss of self-esteem

• Despair

• Hopelessness/helplessness

Difficult moods:

• Irritability

• Anger

• Worry/anxiety

• Pessimism

• Indifference

• Self-critical

Changes in thought patterns:

• Inability to concentrate

• Indecision

• Problems with memory

• Disorganized

Preoccupation with death:

• Thoughts of death

• Suicidal ideation

• Feeling dead or detached

Source: Reaching Everyone

Preventing Suicide

Need to talk?

Call 1-800-­SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK for 24/7 help.

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