Losing our young

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Losing our young

Car crashes and suicides figure as signal causes
Friends and classmates gathered to grieve after Durango High School student Elise Kotlar died by suicide in January 2007. Kotlar’s death led to increased suicide-prevention training at the school and counseling for the students.
Deanna Hitchcock, right, and her son, Andrew Rodriguez, enjoy a happy moment at their home in a photo taken not long before Andrew’s death in May 2012. The Durango High School student died from a head injury after being ejected from a Ford Bronco driven by a friend.
Rescuers with the Durango Fire & Rescue Authority and the Los Pinos Fire Protection District respond to a head-on collision on County Road 318 southeast of Bondad Hill on June 15, 2012. Four people age 23 and younger died in the accident. Car crashes are one of the major causes of death for people younger 25.
Deanna Hitchcock lost her son, Andrew Rodriguez, 16, last year in an auto accident. He was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from a Bronco near Lemon Reservoir.
In this series

Thursday: The various ways we die in La Plata County
Friday: Losing young people to car crashes and suicide
Inside
Signs a loved one may be contemplating suicide
Where to get help

Suicide warning signs

The American Association of Suicidology has identified indicators that a person may be considering suicide and the corresponding actions a concerned family member or friend should take. These are signs there is a heightened risk of suicide in the near future, and it’s often a combination of symptoms rather than one or two.
Call 911 if:
Someone is threatening to hurt or kill themselves.
A person is seeking access to a way to kill themselves such as pills or weapons.
Someone is talking or writing about death, dying or suicide.
In La Plata County, visit www.sucap.org and click on Suicide Prevention for a list of trained gatekeepers; call the Axis Health Systems 24-hour Hotline at 247-5245; contact a mental-health professional; or for a referral, call 1 (800) 273-TALK (8255) if you witness or hear a person exhibiting one or more of these behaviors:
Hopelessness.
Rage, anger or seeking revenge.
Acting reckless or engaging in reckless activities, seemingly without thinking.
Feeling trapped, as though there’s no way out.
Increasing alcohol or drug use.
Withdrawing from friends, family or society.
Anxiety, agitation, inability to sleep or sleeping all the time.
Dramatic mood changes.
No reason for living or no sense of purpose in life.
The Durango Chapter of Heartbeat for people who have lost loved ones to suicide meets from 6 to 8 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at Durango Fire & Rescue Authority Station 1, 142 Sheppard Drive in Bodo Park. For more information, call 403-4103 or 749-1673.

On the Net

To learn more about suicide research and how to prevent It, visit www.suicidology.org., www.suicidepreventioncolorado.org or www.cdphe.state.co.us/pp/suicide.
For men who are depressed or considering suicide, ManTherapy.org, a joint project by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Carson Spencer project, uses humor and “manspeak” to cut through the stigma of mental health and provides practical advice.
To learn more about Heartbeat, the organization for people who have lost loved ones to suicide, visit www.heartbeatsurvivorsaftersuicide.org.

Related Media
Suicide in Colorado 2007-2011
Heartbeat Brochure
Means Restriction Education

Losing our young

Friends and classmates gathered to grieve after Durango High School student Elise Kotlar died by suicide in January 2007. Kotlar’s death led to increased suicide-prevention training at the school and counseling for the students.
Deanna Hitchcock, right, and her son, Andrew Rodriguez, enjoy a happy moment at their home in a photo taken not long before Andrew’s death in May 2012. The Durango High School student died from a head injury after being ejected from a Ford Bronco driven by a friend.
Rescuers with the Durango Fire & Rescue Authority and the Los Pinos Fire Protection District respond to a head-on collision on County Road 318 southeast of Bondad Hill on June 15, 2012. Four people age 23 and younger died in the accident. Car crashes are one of the major causes of death for people younger 25.
Deanna Hitchcock lost her son, Andrew Rodriguez, 16, last year in an auto accident. He was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from a Bronco near Lemon Reservoir.
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