Free suicide prevention training on Wednesday could help save a life

As community members ranging from teens to professionals continue to die from suicide each year in the Yampa Valley, the local nonprofit Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide, or REPS, is hosting a free safeTALK training for community members.

The class is for people to learn to recognize the signs and feel comfortable talking about suicide. It will be presented by 15-year REPS volunteer, suicide survivor and now REPS employee Leslie Christensen from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 13, at the Community Room at Old Town Hot Springs in Steamboat Springs.

The safeTALK training is widely used by professionals and the public to provide suicide alertness skills and four basic steps to create a life-saving connection with someone in crisis.

In the class, participants will learn how to prevent suicide by recognizing signs and connecting people to an intervention resource for further support.

“The training helps you to recognize what invitations people are giving out so that you do not miss, dismiss or avoid helping individuals who are at risk of suicide,” Christensen said. “The value of a suicide-safer community is open, direct and clear conversation happening at home, work and schools and individuals speaking about it openly. It helps people to know that there is a safe place for them to be okay with not being okay.”

The free training is recommended for counselors, social workers, clinicians, faith community members, coaches, military personnel, educators, volunteers, community members, medical professionals, first responders, students age 15 and older, construction workers, supervisors and more.

Dinner will be provided during the training. Individuals wishing to earn continuing education credits can pay $15 and take a simple exam for CEUs.

For questions or to register, contact Mindy Marriott with REPS at 970-846-8182 or For more information about safeTALK,

REPS also is available to teach a free one-hour QPR training, or Question, Persuade and Refer, for a group or workplace.

Anyone who needs assistance or just to talk can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK.

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