Mountain News: New approaches to cutting suicide rate 

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ASPEN, Colo.—Suicides continue to perplex Aspen and Pitkin County, where the rate over a recent three-year period stood at 22.6 per 10,000 residents. That compares with 19.1 for Colorado altogether.

Mountain towns tend toward higher suicide rates for reasons still unclear, and Western states tend toward higher rates than those in the East, again for reasons unclear. The Aspen Daily News reported that local officials have decided to push in two realms.

One effort involves getting the citizenry—everybody from lift-ops and bartenders to bank officers and, perhaps, county commissioners—trained in mental health first-aid.

The idea, explained Greg Poschman, a county commissioner who has taken a keen interest, is to train lay people into being able to identify people in need.

Resilience training, the second approach, targets youths more than adults, teaching them to adapt and recover more quickly from situations involving stress, adversity, or tragedy.

Colorado’s highest suicide region lies in southwestern Colorado, according to Colorado Health Institute’s statistics for 2017. Men are three times more likely than women to commit suicide, and the most vulnerable are those aged 45 to 64. However, suicide is the leading cause of death among those 10 to 24.

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