This is a monthly newsletter from CDPHE regarding the Office of Suicide Prevention.

Edition 62 | June 2023


Welcome to the June 2023 Office of Suicide Prevention newsletter! June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, And Intersex Pride Month! This month we also celebrated Juneteenth!

Rockstar Partner Spotlight!

This month’s Rockstar Partner is Caleb Ferganchick!

Caleb is a rural, queer, slam poet activist and the author of The Secret of Sunflowers (2021) and Poetry Heels (2018). His work has been featured and published by Western Colorado Writer’s Forum, South Broadway Ghost Society, “Slam Ur Ex (the podcast),” the Colorado Mesa University Literary Review, and displayed in various Grand Valley art shows. He was the 2021 Artist in Residence for Mesa County Public Libraries. 

Caleb organizes the annual Slamming Bricks poetry slam competition in Grand Junction, CO in honor of the 1969 Stonewall Riots. Each year during Slamming Bricks Caleb distributes a health indicator survey to gauge the effectiveness of public poetry as an avenue for community restorative justice. He polls the poets, production team, and audience members about quality of life issues such as suicide survivorship status, access to medical care, connectedness, and the educative qualities of performance poetry. Then he adjusts the community service tables accordingly, some staffed by Intentional Peer Support, Sources of Strength, LOSSteam and Pathways trained community members. 

Click here to learn more about Caleb and his community organizing, advocacy, and activism!

Do you have a Rockstar Partner in your community that you would like to see featured in our next newsletter? Nominate them here by completing our Rockstar Partner Nomination Form.

🌟NEW🌟 Ask the OSP Community!

Do you have questions for the Office of Suicide Prevention or Colorado suicide prevention community? This new newsletter segment features the questions our community members are asking and builds connections by sharing stories from across the state.  

Last month we posed: Which gatekeeper trainings do you recommend? Read our response. This month we’re asking “What can we learn from communities that tend to have lower rates of suicidal despair, suicide attempts, and/or deaths by suicide?Submit your EXPERIENCE here. Responses will be summarized and shared in the July 2023 Newsletter. 

Have a question to ask the OSP Community? Submit your QUESTIONS here. 

Past questions and answers will also be available here.

Office of Suicide Prevention Updates

A brief note from our OSP Director, Lena Heilmann (she/hers): 

This month we celebrate Pride and the LGBTQIA2S+ community! Feeling connected and affirmed in our gender identities and sexual orientations is a core suicide prevention strategy, and this month we at OSP, and I personally, would like to share some additional resources to help everyone, the LGBTQIA2S+ community and those who love and support us, feel empowered in supporting LGBTQIA2S+ Coloradans. 

~Lena Heilmann

We at the Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention are excited to be supporting the inaugural Colorado Worker Well-Being Summit taking place over one day on June 27, 2023, from 8:30AM - 3:30PM in Golden, CO. This event is intended to support workplace suicide prevention efforts, which we know is a key priority in our state.

This Summit is for leaders and workplaces who want to learn about how to implement workplace well-being, mental health promotion and suicide prevention, intervention, and crisis response best practices. People with lived experience with mental health challenges, addiction, and suicide are encouraged to attend. Summit Information can be found here.

Colorado-National Collaborative (CNC)

HAPPY PRIDE MONTH! CNC community grantee, Alliance for Suicide Prevention of Larimer County, offers two equity trainings in support of LGBTQ+ communities, including The ABC’s of LGBTQ+ and LGBTQ+ Trusted Adult Trainings. To learn more click here!

State Partners

The Comprehensive Human Sexuality Education (CHSE) Grant Program is proud to release their May and June 2023 Membership Application and flier! This application will be open until June 27th 2023 at 5pm MST. 

The Office of Gun Violence Prevention recently concluded the application period for a new grant program designed to fund projects that conduct community-based gun violence prevention initiatives that are evidence-informed and have demonstrated promise at reducing violence. Learn more about grantees here and subscribe to OGVP’s newsletter here

CDPHE’s Community Organizing for Prevention’s Menu of Systems Change Strategies (Menú de Estrategias de Cambio de Sistemas) is now available in both English and Spanish!

The I Matter program has been extended through June 30, 2024! Learn more here or access the expanded digital toolkit

Zero Suicide

The next Zero Suicide Learning Collaborative will be held tomorrow, June 22nd, from 10:00-11:00. This Learning Collaborative will cover Valley Settlement's Alma program, discussing maternal mental health, suicide prevention, and building/scaling peer support programs! Please email [email protected] to be added to this calendar invite and listserv.

Suicide Prevention Commission

The Suicide Prevention Commission is scheduled to repeal on September 1, 2024, per Colorado law. Prior to the repeal date, the Commission will undergo a sunset review to evaluate the Commission’s impact over its 10-year existence and make recommendations for its future. If you are interested in participating in the stakeholder engagement process in order to provide your feedback and overall input regarding the Commission’s work, please use this link, and click on the “Provide Input” box to access the appropriate Google Form from the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) website.

The next Quarterly Suicide Prevention Commission Meeting will be on Friday, July 28th, 2023 from 9:00am to 11:30am. This meeting will be virtual. The Commission is proud to offer all Commission Quarterly Meetings with live Spanish interpretation. 

The Commision is accepting applications. If you are interested in applying for any of the open Commissioner seats, please apply here. For more information on the Commission, please click here

Meeting materials and recording from the April 2023 Commission meeting (with English- and Spanish-language recordings available) can be found here. 

The Suicide Prevention Commission supports multiple workgroups: Older Adults; Youth-Specific Initiatives; the Governor’s Challenge Workgroup to Support Service Members, Veterans, and their Families; and Postvention. Click here to sign up for any of the workgroups. All workgroup materials can be found here

The Commission's Postvention Workgroup is looking to identify existing suicide postvention written resources in the Spanish language The Postvention Resource Gathering Form is available in both English and Spanish. Please submit resources and share the Resource Gathering Form with your partners and networks!

Please reach out to the OSP Director, Lena Heilmann ([email protected]), with any questions.


The next CAMS training will be in person on Thursday, August 17th, 2023 from 8:30am-4:30pm. More information and registration is available here.  

If you are interested in attending a different CAMS training session, please join our interest list

The Office of Suicide Prevention has updated the instructions for accessing the LivingWorks Start gatekeeper training. Please see this instruction sheet for more details. Please visit the Office of Suicide Prevention’s Training webpage for more information on CAMS, LivingWorks Start, and much more!

RESOURCES - Hot off the Press!
*Disclaimer: The following resources and events do not necessarily reflect the Office of Suicide Prevention’s views or opinions.

Please note: There is an "Upcoming Events" section at the end of the newsletter. If your browser clips this email, please be sure to click "View entire message" to access all of the content!

LGBTQ+ Mental Health & Suicide Prevention

In celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride Month, the MHTTC Network shares their resources supporting LGBTQ+ mental health here. These resources are for professionals, the community, and allies.

Moving Beyond Change Efforts: Evidence and Action to Support and Affirm LGBTQI+ Youth: This SAMHSA report provides behavioral health professionals, researchers, policymakers and other audiences with a research overview and information about effective and ineffective therapeutic practices related to youth of diverse sexual orientation and gender identity.

Mental Health America has consolidated LGBTQ+ resources, webinars, social media graphics, and more on their website

Depression in LGBTQ Youth Linked with Lack of Parental Support, Controlling Behavior - The study also found whether a young person was out to their parents mattered.

The Trans Lifeline Library has resources on a variety of topics for parents, youth, and others. 

Improving Care For LGBTQ+ Communities & Providing Welcoming Transportation to the LGBTQ+ Community - Guides from The Center of Excellence on LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity.

Guide to Being an Ally to Transgender and Nonbinary Young People - This introductory educational resource covers best practices on how to support transgender and nonbinary young people from the Trevor Project

Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces New Actions to Protect LGBTQI+ Communities - Fact sheet from the White House.


Racial Disparities Dashboard: The Othering and Belonging Institute launched the Racial Disparities Dashboard. This project provides data on differences in outcomes for American society, and highlights areas of progress and regress in closing disparities.

CU Anschutz Medical Campus and the Colorado Behavioral Health Administration Announce Initiative to Increase Diversity in the Behavioral Health Workforce - Education, trainings and mentorships will address Colorado's shortages in the workforce.

Download the 2023 BIPOC Mental Health Month Toolkit from Mental Health America here.

Culturally Responsive, Evidence-Based Strategies for Traumatic Stress (CRESTS): Placing culture at the center of trauma-informed care. 


Colorado Crisis Services Toolkit - order free print materials or download digital content from Colorado Crisis Services.

The Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network (MHTTC) hosted a webinar The MHTTC Network’s RACE for Mental Health on May 11th. More information, including presentation slides, is available here.

Essential DBT Skills for Individuals Who are Suicidal and the People that Care for Them  - On-Demand Webinar. Learn more and watch the recording here.

Colorado SEOW recently released their 2023 Mental Health Profile. Additional epidemiological profiles from Colorado SEOW are available here

Suicide-Focused Assessment and Treatment: An Update for Professionals - free online course from McLean Hospital (McLean) and the Stanford Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. October 25th from 9:30am - 2:45pm.

Youth and Young Adults

Nationally, Youth Suicide Rates Increased During the COVID-19 Pandemic: New national study supported by NIMH. The increase in suicide deaths varied significantly by sex, age, race and ethnicity, and suicide method. 

CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data Summary & Trends Report: 2011–2021 provides surveillance data and 10-year trends on health behaviors and experiences among high school students in the United States related to adolescent health and well-being.

Better Support Young Patients At Risk For Suicide - written by Dr. Brian Pitts, MD, FAAP, Provider Consultant at Partners for Children’s Mental Health

Communities Must Tailor Youth Suicide Prevention Efforts to Those Who Need Them Most - this Child Trends brief offers recommendations to help community-based organizations apply an equity lens to their youth suicide prevention efforts.

Mental Health and Schools: Best Practices to Support Our Students - Implications for Policy, Systems, and Practice - from the Baker Center for Children and Families.

Factors that Influence the Continuous Pursuit of Education, Training, and Employment among Young Adults with Serious Mental Health Conditions - The present study describes young adult patterns of education, training, and employment activities for individuals with serious mental health conditions in the United States and identifies modifiable factors that hinder or facilitate their ability to consistently pursue these activities.

Social Media and Youth Mental Health - U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory

Youth Mental Health Report - Action steps to support America’s youth from the Action Alliance.

Depression and Suicide: Mental Health Tools for Providers Working with College-aged Youth - Webinar recording and materials.

The HHS Children and Youth Resilience Challenge will fund innovative community-led solutions to promote resilience in children and adolescents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and other disasters. Read the full press release.

Older Adults

The hidden loneliness epidemic endangers Coloradans, especially older adults. This article discusses the potentially deadly health risks associated with social isolation and loneliness.

Implementing Population Health Strategies, by Bill Barberg, described a case study of creating Communities of Hope in Detroit, which provides an example of using a multi-solving, system thinking approach to address three major challenges the aging population in nearly every state are facing: Social isolation, housing, and dementia.

Lethal Means Safety

Suicide and gun violence among youths subject of prevention meeting in Durango - Jonathan McMillan, Director of the Office of Gun Violence Prevention (CDPHE), attended the La Plata County Suicide Prevention Collaborative’s meeting on March 17th. 

Watch recordings of the National Collaboration on Gun Violence Research’s Gun Violence Prevention Research Webinar Series here.

Veteran Suicide Prevention

Association of Frailty With Risk of Suicide Attempt in a National Cohort of US Veterans Aged 65 Years or Older: A recent study found frailty was associated with suicide attempt risk among U.S. veterans ages 65 and older.

The Marine Corps is committed to advertise the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline 988 on all Marine Corps installations globally. Access the downloadable poster here.

National news - The Veterans Crisis Line is fielding a record number of cries for help, VA stats show from NBC News.

Cross-Pollinated Resources

Intersection of adoption and suicide: 

Supporting Dads’ Mental Health, An Act Of Strength - insights into the intersection between parenting and mental health for fathers from the Colorado Perinatal Care Quality Collaborative.

COVID Emergency Ends but Mental Health Issues Remain - Discussion on mental health implications of ending the COVID-19 public health emergency. 


Implementing Extreme Risk Protection Orders: Tools for the Field - webinar hosted by the Joyce Foundation. June 22nd, 11:00 MT. Register here.

Safe & Effective LGBTQ+ Data Collection Learning Community: This Learning Community (LC) will provide learners the opportunity to hear from experts in the field on serving LGBTQ+ populations and collecting sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data in safe and effective ways. Thursday, June 22nd, 12:00-1:00 MT. Learn more and register here.

Putting Intersectionality into Practice - June 26, 12:00 MT. This webinar will introduce participants to intersectionality and how it informs our efforts to achieve safety, permanency and well-being for all young people.  Register here.

Advancing Peer Support & Lived Experience Leadership - 2023 Upward Spiral Summer  Series: Virtual, June 28th, 10:00-12:00 MT. View the event flier here and register here.

Black Suicidology Summit - Free webinar, June 28th, 3:00 MT. Learn more and register here.

Postvention Training (CEs Available): Health Solutions invites you and any staff that has influence on policy to attend this free postvention training, which  will be in person in Pueblo from 8am-5pm on 6/28 with lunch provided. Email [email protected] as soon as possible if you are interested in attending this event. Click here to learn more.

A public health approach to firearm injury prevention – a focus on firearm suicide - July 11th 2023 at 11:00 MT. Register here.

The Interpersonal Theory of Suicide, A free one-hour webinar with Dr. Thomas Joiner. Dr. Joiner will address how empirical, clinical and conceptual evidence converges to indicate good support for the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide. July 11, 2023 at 1:00 MT. Register here.

Partners for Children’s Mental Health is offering free upcoming trainings to help youth-serving professionals create safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth. Training dates/times (MT):    

Pediatric Suicide Prevention: A Practical Care Pathway For Primary Care. Five weekly ECHO sessions held virtually on Tuesdays from 12:00-1:00 MT, July 25 - August 22. Learn more and register here.

Relevant Career Opportunities

Violence Free Colorado is hiring a Bilingual Training and TA Specialist and Economic Justice Training and Technical Assistance Specialist. Click here or email [email protected] to learn more.

The Colorado Office of Behavioral Health is hiring an I Matter & Project AWARE Programs Specialist - Hybrid Work Arrangements - Term Limited.

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To improve the health, well-being and equity of all Coloradans through health promotion, prevention and access to health care.