The suicide rate continues to climb in Mesa County. One local man has made suicide prevention his new mission after losing his best friend less than one week ago.
Local realtor and Rotary Club member Reid Mitchell said he suspected his friend was upset but didn't realize how serious it was.
"My friend told me three or four months ago on a Monday morning, oh ah I was depressed all weekend, I just stayed drunk," said Mitchell.
Mitchell said at that point he was concerned and asked his friend if he ever considered doing something crazy when he was depressed.
"He said once in a while, in 4 years I heard a once in a while and I didn't react I just filed it away," said Mitchell.
But said that once in a while thought cost one of his best friends his life.
"So when he didn't show up to work the day after new years and his boss called me at noon that once in a while popped into my head and I rushed over to his house and ya know found him in his garage," said Mitchell.
Mitchell said its been less than a week since he lost his friend, and he is dedicated to preventing this from happening to others.
"I want to come up with a slogan so that people that have suicidal thoughts might think of you know something like if you are feeling defeated don't give up call your buddy," said Mitchell.
Director at the Suicide Prevention Foundation, Karen Levad said the best thing to do is sit down with the person you are worried about.
"It sends the message to them that you've got the courage to hear what they've got to say, that you care enough about them to risk asking that question," said Levad.
Levad hosts training seminars to educate the community about how to identify and deal with a suicidal individual, and says there is almost always some kind of sign."
"We sometimes use the image of the river of suicide, if someone has thoughts of suicide um they are in the river of suicide, very few people move through that river rapidly to like go underwater and go down the path to death," said Levad.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is staffed 24 hours a day and can be reached at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Colorado West Regional Mental Health’s Crisis Line number is 241-6022 and is staffed 24 hours a day by licensed personnel.
Check out the Western Colorado Suicide Prevention Foundation’s website at www.suicidepreventionfoundation.org. It has great resources and information that can help you know where to turn. You can call the director at 970-683-6626 for specific information.
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