Suicide and 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.
- Data Spotlight
- What can you do?
- Safely store firearms by purchasing locking devices such as lock box, gun safe or trigger lock. Check out Seattle & King County's Five Main Locking Devices webpage for more information on finding the right locking device for you.
- Talk about firearm safety and safe storage with friends and family. Asking about firearms in the home could save lives.
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.
- Data spotlight:
- More males than females complete suicide in Denver. Learn more about this in the July 2016 issue of Denver Vital Signs: Male Suicide in Denver.
- Colorado's Office of Suicide Prevention Legislative Report (2014-2015).
- Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado.
- What can you do?
- Encourage your child's school to adopt an evidence-based suicide prevention program such as Sources of Strength.
- Know the common warning signs for suicide. Remember that each individual is unique and these warning signs may not show up in every person who is experiencing suicidal thoughts. However, there are common characteristics that should be acted upon to save someone's life.
- Resources for emergency departments treating suicidal patients.
- Lethal means counseling.
- 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