GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- The suicide rate in Colorado reaches an historic high.
According to the CDPHE, more Coloradans died by suicide in 2012 than ever before. And now Colorado has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, over 90% of people who commit suicide have been diagnosed with mental illness.
Erica Kitzman, the secretary of the board for NAMI on the Western Slope says suicide can be prevented, by calling it what it is when it starts, which is suicidal thinking.
"Suicidal thinking comes from being run down, just like all other illnesses. When you get that 105 fever, it's because you're run down and you're sick. If you're having suicidal thinking, it's because a person is run down and they’re sick," said Kitzman.
Kitzman swims with her sister to help her with her chronic anxiety and teaches a "Peer to Peer" class. The class teaches those who suffer from mental illness, like Kitzman herself, how to live well with a mental illness.
NAMI encourages the community to become educated on mental illness, in order to help those in need and prevent suicide.
For more information on the “Peer to Peer” class, click on the NAMI web link.