Mesa County, according to a recent study, has one of the highest suicide rates in Colorado.

So what do we do about it?

St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction is set to begin implementing what is known as the Zero Suicide program.

The program was inspired by communities that were successful in reducing the suicide rate by paying attention to a few key components.

The seven essential elements include the commitment to reducing suicides by changing the culture, having trained, caring professionals, identifying those at risk, engaging those who are at risk with a management and care plan designed to stay in contact with those who are considered at-risk, treat the thoughts and behaviors evidenced by those who are considering suicide, remove them from suicide care once they have been removed from suicide watch and to constantly upgrade techniques and advance theories that will lead to fewer or no suicides.

In addition, St. Mary's is offering training called ASIST which provides first aid training in the event a friend or loved one has attempted suicide.

Whatever we have to do to reduce or eliminate suicides in Mesa County should be done.

This is one more way to achieve that goal.

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