Bethe1to campaign aims to promote community, and prevent suicide

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- September is Suicide Prevention Awareness month. It's no secret that Mesa County has been hit hard by this issue over the last year.

On Thursday night, people got the chance show their support for the 'Be the One to' campaign at the downtown Grand Junction farmer's market.

The campaign is all about making stronger connections with the one you love.

Mesa County Public Health teamed up with District 51 and CMU to make the community chain of connectedness.

Jesse Bradford wants to do his part, and get the conversation started about suicide prevention.

"My big goal is for the youth and community to learn about themselves and how to cope with depression and anxiety," said Bradford.

He came to downtown Grand Junction to spread his message of love and add on to the chain of connectedness.

"I'm basically going to say that you know love yourself and love everything," Bradford said. "I think it's awesome, it's having people step up and be about something," he added about the campaign.

The chain is the Grand Valley's part of the Bethe1to campaign.

"The more connected we are in our communities whether that be school, your workplace or church, any of the activities you do or groups you're in as long as you're connected your risk for suicide or depression goes down," said Katie Goddeyne, a spokesperson with Mesa County Public Health.

In the Grand Valley, the campaign was started at the schools first.

"It's fun to read what they've (District 51 Students) pledge to do, and really see what it looks like through their eyes," said Goddeyne.

The students wrote down several pledges on the pieces of paper. Kylee David, a senior at Grand Junction high school added on her part.

"Be the one to start a conversation," she said.

It's now open to the community to add on.

"Suicide is a community problem and it's something we have to tackle as a community," said Goddeyne.

This is in hopes that perhaps just one message can change a life.

"We need to become more of a community and talk about it and it's not something we should be scared to talk about," said Amber Diaz, a senior at Grand Junction High School.

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or from depression, you can text CO to 741-74, there's also Safe 2 Tell, and the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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