Suicide prevention workshop Aug. 13 to 14 |

Suicide prevention workshop Aug. 13 to 14

Jerry Raehal

If you go

Gatekeeper Training Workshop

What: A two-day suicide prevention workshop

When: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. Lunch is provided both days

Where: Yampa River State Park Visitor Center, 17 miles east of Craig on U.S. Highway 40

Cost: Free; pre-registration is required

To register: Call Anngie Jenkins at 826-2329 or Sandy Beran at 824-8233. Class size is limited to 30 people

— Two years ago, Sandy Beran took a two-day suicide prevention workshop.

One week later, she used the knowledge she gained from that class to help her daughter’s friend, who seemed depressed.

“Are you feeling so bad that you’re thinking of ending your life,” Beran asked.

“Yes,” the woman said.

It’s a scary question to ask, Beran said, “but it’s more scary when you don’t know what to do when they say ‘yes.'”

Beran knew what to do.

She knew of the resources and the road map to help deal with someone in that state of mind, and she credited the workshop for helping her and her daughter’s friend through the crisis.

“That showed me how valuable (the training) was, and how useful it was in any situation,” said Beran, who also works with the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association. “That’s when I made the decision to become a (workshop) trainer.”

Beran will be one of the trainers on hand for Monday and Tuesday’s suicide prevention workshop at the Yampa Valley State Park Visitor Center, 17 miles east of Craig on U.S. Highway 40. The free class runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days. Lunch is provided.

The two-day training is called Gatekeeper Training Workshop, and is sponsored by Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide, or REPS. It is meant to give participants knowledge and skills to help them know how to intervene when they fear someone is at risk of committing suicide or is depressed.

Beran said the class is sometimes called “suicide CPR.”

“It gives you a procedure that you can follow in the conversation that is very helpful to the person you are talking to,” she said. “With that knowledge beforehand, you don’t find yourself feeling as flustered.”

During the workshop, participants will learn to recognize warning signs of depression and suicide, recognize opportunities to help, reach out and offer support, estimate the risk of suicide, apply a model for suicide intervention, and link people with community resources, according to a REPS press release.

Suicide numbers have gone up in Moffat County in recent years. From 1992 to 2006, county coroner Owen Grant reported 46 suicide deaths. Twenty-six of those suicides occurred from 2002 to 2006, with eight occurring in 2006.

There is no one answer as to why suicide rates are rising in Moffat County, Beran said.

“There is nothing that we can say, ‘yes, this is why,’ but some things that are true in Moffat County are that we have a lot of people who are independent, Western people,” she said. “And it’s sometimes hard to connect and share some feelings without really knowing about how to go about it.

“That’s why this training is helpful because you know what resources you have to pull from and how to just listen to someone who is going through a painful, painful moment.”

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