On Wednesday November 4th, members of the community who have been touched by suicide are invited to attend the annual HOPE lights the night remembrance service in Boulder.
Andi Jason lost lost her son Jessie to suicide five years ago, “It was a shock to me, it was a shock to the doctors and therapists that were working with him and certainly to his peers. Nobody thought he was suicidal.” Andi found support through Collie’s Closet, a non-profit peer education organization whose mission is to educate students in Boulder Valley School District about depression and suicide with the goal of decreasing youth suicide. The Youth Risk Behavior Survey from 2013 showed that 1 in 4 Boulder Valley High School students reported feeling depressed and 14.7% 7th and 8th graders in Boulder Valley reported seriously considering attempting suicide. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth (ages 10-34) in Colorado. It can be prevented through early identification of signs and symptoms and access to the right treatment and support.
Lisa Kilmer, a high school volunteer with Collie’s Closet says there have been some recent suicides in Boulder Valley Schools which has a huge impact on the other students. “It’s been really rough, especially for people who have suffered from depression and suicide in other areas of their life, when this happens to their peers, they’re very affected by it and a lot of times it can trigger certain episodes for themselves.”
Like Andi Jason, Lisa herself has been touched by suicide. The summer before her freshman year a close friend of hers killed herself and then more recently, another friend from school died by suicide “it’s had a huge impact, it’s pretty shocking to not only have it happen once but then have it happen again.”
During the 2014 legislative session, Senate Bill 088 was passed to create a Suicide Prevention Commission which is tasked with creating a public-private partnership to address suicide.
The HOPE Coalition of Boulder County is hosting the 7th annual suicide remembrance program at the Community United Church of Christ, 2650 Table Mesa Boulevard from 7-8pm.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please contact Colorado Crisis Services at 1-844-493-TALK (8255) where help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is also a 24 hour walk-in crisis center at 1000 Alpine in Boulder.