$20,000 Heroes Proceeds To Help Youth, Prevent Suicides Thru YMHFA

Posted 02/14/2017

AspenPointe Board Chair Debbie Sagen presented the local National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Board Member Gail Decker a $20,000 check for Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training at AspenPointe’s annual partnership appreciation breakfast held at the El Paso County Citizen Service Center’s AspenPointe Café, Tuesday, Feb. 14. 

Proceeds were raised from the 2016 Heroes of Mental Health Luncheon to support the local YMHFA training program to help identify early signs and to prevent youth suicides. 

Newsweek wrote an article about Colorado Spring’s challenges last October.  Suicide is the leading cause of death among youth ages 10 – 17 years of age in Colorado, according to the Child Fatality Prevention System 2016 Legislative Report.  Furthermore, youth suicide fatalities in Colorado increased 57.7 percent from 2010 to 2014 (26 to 41 deaths).


The El Paso County Coroner’s Office reported that 14 local youth completed suicide in 2015, up from seven in 2014. According to the Gazette, 15 students ages 10 to 17 completed suicide in 2016.


Mental Health First Aid is a groundbreaking public education program that helps the public identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.  According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 50 percent of mental illnesses begin by age 14.


MHFA classes started in 2009, and have trained more than 3,700 people in the region.  Last year’s Heroes event raised more than $14,000 for YMHFA.

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