Colorado Springs sits in the shadow of Pikes Peak. Though rich with recreational activities, faith groups, and cultural activities, there’s another side not many talk about. It’s nationally ranked among metropolitan areas for high suicide rates. Researchers estimate about 100 suicides occur in El Paso County per year, and a new study from the Pikes Peak Behavioral Health Group estimates the medical costs for suicide and suicide attempts in the county at four million dollars per year. KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin takes a closer look at the statistics, and the human toll of taking one’s own life.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Additional Resources:

Pikes Peak Behavioral Health Group
Suicide Prevention Partnership
Mental Health America for Colorado

 

4 Responses to Confronting Suicide in El Paso County and Colorado Springs

  1. Andrea – thanks for starting this new program with addressing the extraordinarily high suicide rate in our community.

    Please add the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance – Colorado Springs chapter to your existing list of resources.

    DBSA serves at the forefront of protection against suicides, providing those with the depression that often leads to suicide with a free support group program as well as a free lending library (at the old St. Francis Health Center, 825 E. Pikes Peak Avenue, Bldg. 29, Suite 301) filled with books, DVDs, VHS tapes, journals, and articles to help people with mood disorders manage their conditions and remain in recovery.

    DBSA-CS can be seen at http://www.DBSAColoradoSprings.org, or can be reached at (719) 477-1515 or, by e-mail at help@DBSAColoradoSprings.org.

  2. tom frazier says:

    Thank you for your report on this tragic reality. Many times family members and friends of loved ones who complete suicide are surprised that an individual who did not seem to be at risk was in fact in crisis. But they are almost always surprised at the terrible wake that other suicides have left in the community. So many are touched by this tragedy and yet we rarely hear it mentioned in public discourse. Your report helps redress this problem. Thank you.

    ed note: for disclosure, tom is a KRCC volunteer.

  3. […] here for the original piece that aired prior to the May conference that talked about the demographics […]

  4. […] Andrea Chalfin reported in May, El Paso County has one of the highest suicide rates in the country with an estimated 100 suicides […]

News

Getty Images
February 6, 2016 | NPR · The Russian airstrikes have emboldened President Bashar Assad’s army to press a major offensive in a crucial city. Thousands of civilians have fled and are massing at the nearby Turkish border.
 

February 6, 2016 | NPR · Saturday is the U.N.’s “Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.” The Secretary-General is calling for an end to FGM, and UNICEF has released a report on the prevalence of the practice.
 

AP
February 6, 2016 | NPR · Peter Saunders, a British survivor of sexual abuse by a priest, was a prominent and outspoken critic of the Vatican, pushing for more measures to protect children and punish pedophilia.
 

Arts & Life

WireImage
February 6, 2016 | NPR · Game of Thrones may have killed off many major characters, but the manipulative, scheming Queen Cersei is still standing. We’ve invited Headey to play a game called “You win and you die.”
 

February 6, 2016 | NPR · NPR’s Ina Jaffe talks with Scott Simon about the struggle to find the right words to describe older people. Longevity and lifestyles have changed and the language hasn’t kept up.
 

AP
February 6, 2016 | NPR · Daring visual artists, whose edgy work challenges religious and political taboos, have become a critical voice in the conservative kingdom — where open calls for reform are a criminal offense.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
February 6, 2016 | NPR · With more than 80 world premieres to her credit, Barbrara Hannigan, an intrepid soprano and conductor, has a knack for making modern music sound effortless and approachable.
 

Coldplay Music/YouTube
February 6, 2016 | NPR · These days, it’s pretty much impossible to miss a discussion on cultural appropriation. But we explore where we draw the line between what’s acceptable and what’s downright offensive.
 

Courtesy of the artist
February 6, 2016 | NPR · The duo School of Seven Bells wrote its final album together in 2012. Alejandra Deheza didn’t know then that her bandmate and songwriting partner wouldn’t live to see its release.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab