September, 2020—Denver, CO
In the wake of a global pandemic, it’s challenging to remember that Colorado’s mental health is just as important as its physical, emotional and financial health. As September and the National Suicide Prevention & Awareness Month comes to a close, Great Western is proud to invest and support the mental health of Coloradans by partnering with UCHealth Northern Colorado Foundation and donating to the fight against suicide.
“The mental health of the communities in which we work and operate are important to all of us at Great Western. The challenges we have all faced this year has led to mental health impacts, and we are raising awareness for suicide prevention,” said Susan Fakharzadeh, vice president of corporate communications & government affairs for Great Western. “We’re value the opportunity to help support the efforts of UCHealth in our communities and invest in top-quality health care.”
While suicide has tragically impacted millions of people for decades worldwide, the effects of COVID-19 and the stress of isolation has caused professionals to worry that suicide rates will reflect in 2020 and the future. With this gift from Great Western, UCHealth will be able to study and address some of the risks and prevention tactics through programs, outreach and medical studies.
Initially, Great Western’s donation will begin with the Zero Suicide Implementation Focus Group. UCHealth’s team of mental wellness professionals created a tool to conduct focus groups and interviews to collect input from people who have had direct experience with suicide-related treatment, such as the patient themselves, family members and caregivers. This insight will allow for better treatments and the ability to implement changes for suicide prevention policies and practices. The questions asked will relate to screening, assessment, safety planning, evidence-based treatment, care transitions and follow-up processes. The program is associated with the local Alliance for Suicide Prevention and Imagine Zero.
“Especially during this uncertain time, this month is a reminder to all of us to stay connected with each other,” said Erica Siemers, regional executive director of UCHealth Northern Colorado Foundation. “We’re incredibly thankful for this gift and the support for suicide prevention awareness. Great Western’s donation will go beyond the focus group and into future prevention efforts that will help UCHealth combat Colorado’s high suicide rates.”
We understand how imperative it is to invest in the change we want to see in the world. We value this opportunity and look forward to learning how Great Western can further suicide prevention efforts in the future.
For more information about a northern Colorado coalition to end suicide, please visit: uchealth.org/today/imagine-zero-suicides. Follow Great Western on Facebook and LinkedIn for more partnership and community updates.