wanting to die or to
Looks for a way
to kill herself, such as
searching online or
buying a gun.
Talks about feeling
hopeless or having no
reason to live.
Talks about feeling
trapped or being in
Talks about being
a burden to others.
Increases the use
of alcohol or drugs.
Acts anxious or
Sleeps too little
or too much.
Shows rage or
talks about seeking
Program" is a
after the suicide
of 17 year old
cide, especially to someone who is actively
suicidal, the fact is that talking about suicide
can not only reduce the stigma it currently
carries, but also, it can save lives. Open com-
munication increases the chance that a per-
son at risk for suicide will ask for help.
“If there’s one antidote to suicide, maybe, it’s
hope,” Fiore said. “It’s hope, whether it’s sharing
a personal story of overcoming suicidal ide-
ation or holding on to the hope for them until
they’re able to overcome it themselves.”
The key is to listen to a person’s pain with
compassion. Sometimes, people don’t under-
stand the level of despair people who contem-
plate suicide are experiencing, and they believe
a person is just being selfish or seeking attention
— especially if the suicidal ideation (the act of
putting thoughts into words) is ongoing. But
Don Bissett, a licensed professional counselor
and social worker at Vail Valley Medical Center,
believes “every instance of suicidal ideation is
serious, whether it’s the first time or one of many
times.” He hopes people will listen to others’
pain, and from there, come up with a safety and
treatment plan with the help of a professional.
“When someone voices suicidal thoughts, they
are often met with judgment, and that is exactly
struggled with thoughts of suicide. She
floated from careers in marine biology
and medicine to business and athletic
training, but nothing seemed to fit.
Then she reached a crisis, where death seemed
to be the only answer. She felt that no one under-
stood her pain. But as it turns out, she’s not alone.
From 2007-2011 in Eagle County, there were 37
suicides and 60 hospitalizations due to attempts.
About 8.3 million adults in the United States —
3.7 percent — reported having suicidal thoughts
within the past 12 months in a 2009 study by the
Center for Disease Control. About 1 percent of
the adult population made suicide plans within
that year, and half of those attempted suicide.
Residents in the Rocky Mountain region statisti-
cally have higher occurrences of suicide, accord-
ing to the American Association of Suicidology.
At the moment of Fiore’s biggest crisis, she sur-
rendered, and a new thought entered her mind:
“What if I live my life for myself — give myself
permission to live my life how I want?” she asked
herself. Now, she’s an author, motivational speaker
and the executive director of Eagle Valley’s suicide
prevention coalition, Speak Up, Reach Out.
While many people fear talking about sui-
The Suicide Taboo
Suicide prevention is rooted in
communication, openness and recognition
The risk of suicide is greater if a behavior is new or has increased and if it seems related to a painful
event, loss or change. This is not an exhaustive list of signs; symptoms vary person to person.
he or she:
WHERE TO GET HELP
National Suicide Prevention
Denver Metro National
Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
Speak Up, Reach Out:
(crisis line number is the same as
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline)
(same number as National
Suicide Prevention Lifeline)