REPS hopes training sessions will lead to fewer suicides
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Mindy Marriott knows that putting an end to suicide in Routt County is not an easy task, and, to that end, the executive director of Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide continues to provide training opportunities in the Steamboat Springs community.
“Primarily, we want to train as many people as possible in our community to become advocates for suicide prevention,” Marriott said. “But the bonus, at the end of the day, would be that the people who take part find and interest in volunteering for REPS in some capacity.”
REPS offers the Applied Suicide Intervention Skill Training program twice per year in Routt and Moffat counties. The next training will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center.
ASIST is an award winning two-day interactive workshop that prepares caregivers to provide life-assisting suicide intervention. Research shows that ASIST provides long-term financial benefits to communities it serves, and ASIST-trained caregivers help at-risk people feel less suicidal and more hopeful.
Marriott said ASIST and Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) programs are an important building block in providing awareness and the first step in getting advocates involved with REPS at all levels.
“It could be the suicide prevention advocate program at YVMC, or it could be in other ways,” Marriott said.
Last year, there was only one suicide death in Routt County — a 70-percent drop from the year before. Marroitt would like to think the things they are doing at REPS, in the school and in the community, are having an impact. But, she said the quest to put and end to suicide is never finished. It’s one of the reasons these programs are offered to the community.
“It’s like a mini-course on suicide prevention and education,” Marriott said. “It gives you the tools to learn how to question someone, persuade them to get help and then refer them to safety. We do them for anyone that is interested, any organization and business. We provide them for free.”
REPS has already done six sessions in the first quarter and can do as many as 20 in the course of the year. Each session lasts about an hour and a half.
“Our ultimate goal would be that every single person in the community was trained in QPR,” Marriott said. “Any one works for an organization or a local business including hairdressers, bartenders, lawyers and law enforcement. These are the people we target and hope to train so they have the tools they need, if they need to use them.”
In addition, REPS also offers two ASIST training sessions, which was started by Living Works. Marriott said most people take QPR first and then move forward to the ASIST training. For more information or to sign up please call Executive Director Mindy Marriott at 970-846-8182 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
“ASIST trainings are more intense, being that they are two days,” Marriott said. “They are fairly expensive to provide, but we do provide them for free.”
“It is a certified course, so people taking it get a certification, and once they have it, they have it for life,” Marriott said. “So, you don’t have to take it again.”.
She said the work that REPS is doing is making a difference.
The education, the resources, all the trainings and everything we are doing is making a difference,” Marriott said. “ We just want to continue with the momentum to train as many people as possible and ultimately save a life.”
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