Suicide prevention workshop set Friday, Saturday |

Suicide prevention workshop set Friday, Saturday

Christine Ina Casillas

Nationally, one in 17 persons have had thoughts of suicide, she says.

“Suicide prevention is a priority of ours and it’s a big problem among high school girls,” she says.

Local surveys have shown 15 percent of local high school girls have tried to commit suicide, a figure that’s higher than the national average, she says.

National studies have shown 11 percent of high school females have attempted suicide, she says.

The survey also showed 30 percent of the county’s youth have shown symptoms of depression, she says.

The survey was done by the Eagle Cares program, a high school attitude and behavior survey with Eagle Valley, Battle Mountain and Red Canyon high schools students participating.

“Suicide attempts – that’s pretty real,” she said. “That’s people who are making an effort to do it.”

The youth coalition, in collaboration with Colorado Mountain College, is offering a suicide ideology and depression workshop Friday and Saturday to help prevent suicide.

“It’s about being better friends,” Reilly said. “Just learning to be a better friend.”

After volunteers take the course – an “applied suicide intervention skills training workshop” – they will know better how to bring “a person back to a safe place,” Reilly said.

“Whether it’s physically or consciously bringing them back to a safe place, these folks will be able to to talk them through it,” she says.

The training is done by Living Works, a widely-used, Canadian-based suicide prevention program, she said. During the training, Reilly gives a 90-minute presentation about suicide and depression.

“There are so many people who are so depressed that they consider suicide. We want to make people aware that this is a common problem, and it is treatable,” she says.

Most importantly, she said, people who feel suicidal or depressed need to tell someone before they act on their thoughts.

“Suicide ideation and attempts are not as uncommon as people think,” she said. “People think that Kobe Bryant’s alleged victim is suicidal, but she’s not the only young adult who’s considered suicide or tried it.

“We don’t want to encourage it, but it’s not the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to someone. It’s very common.”

Christine Ina Casillas can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 607 or at

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