Suicide and Violence Prevention

The World Health Organization defines health as "a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." While violence is present, our communities cannot achieve health. When people feel happy and safe, and are mentally well - they are less likely to inflict harm upon themselves or others. Suicide, violence and substance abuse are major problems but as much as anything, they are an individual's attempt to solve a problem.

Firearm Violence Prevention

Part of our work to prevent violence in Denver communities includes a focus on reducing injuries and deaths due to firearms. Our approach includes collecting data and identifying trends, promoting safe storage for all firearms in the home, and encouraging healthcare providers to educate patients on firearm safety.


Suicide Prevention

Suicide is a major public health issue nationwide. According to the Big Cities Health Data effort, Denver's suicide rate in 2013 ranked second highest out of 15 participating cities. In 2014, suicide caused more deaths in Denver than HIV and motor vehicle crashes combined, making it the ninth leading cause of death. Suicide is preventable. By decreasing risk factors, and increasing protective factors, we can save lives.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has launched a project disseminate suicide safety information in gun shops around Colorado.


Youth Violence Prevention

Denver Public Health has teamed up with agencies across Denver County to create a strategic framework for preventing youth violence in our communities. Visit the youth health  page for more information.

Suicide Warning Signs

  • Previous Suicide Attempt
  • Current Talk of Suicide or making a plan
  • Strong wish to die or a preoccupation with death
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Signs of depression such as moodiness, hopelessness and withdrawal
  • Increased alcohol and/or drug use
  • Hinting at not being around in the future or saying goodbye
  • Experiences drastic changes in behavior