Mental Health Month

Written on 05/09/2024
Cheri Spottke

May is Mental Health Awareness Month!
According to the CDC, in 2022 provisional deaths by suicide were 49,449, up by 2.6% from 2021.
Of those, 39,255 were identified as male and 10,194 were identified as female.
6,529 were between the ages of 10-24 (down by 8.4%),
16,843 were 25-44 (up by 0.7%),
15,632 were 45-64 (up by 6.6%),
16,433 were 65 and over (up by 8.1%).
Current estimates for death by suicide in 2023 were over 50,000.
In 2023, our Co Responder Unit (CRU) was dispatched on 1,153 active calls for service within the city, and were referred another 948.
Of the active calls, ~50% were able to be resolved at the location of contact and only ~15% were taken to area emergency rooms.
Of the remaining percentages, we had no contact with the individual, they were taken to detox, crisis, jail, or elsewhere in the community.
In the state of Colorado, mental health Co Responder Units have become a staple in mental/behavioral health crisis response. Partnering mental health professionals with local law enforcement and fire department staff provides appropriate crisis services, help determine an appropriate level of care, divert from unnecessary emergency room visits and jail, and help to engage with community members after the crisis has resolved to assist in resource navigation.
If you or someone you know is suffering from a mental health crisis, please call 988, your local crisis centers, or law enforcement agency for further assistance.
For the City of Westminster, the local Crisis Center is Jefferson Center for Mental Health at 303.425.0300.
If anyone in the community is needing support, they can also call the Westminster Police Department’s non-emergent line at 303.658.4360 option 1 and ask to speak with a Co-Responder.
The Crisis Response Unit is available on most days between 6am and 11pm and provides 7-day coverage.