Laramie County Suicide Fatality Review Team (SFRT) works to combat Wyoming’s suicide epidemic

Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 7:21 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Every year, we see the devastating effects of suicide, especially in Wyoming. The Laramie County Coroner’s Office has collaborated with Cheyenne Regional Medical Center to identify gaps in the existing system to help stop loss of life.

Wyoming leads with the highest rate of suicide in the United States at a shocking 29.4 per 100,000 people. Laramie County alone saw 28 suicides in 2020, and 18 suicides in the nine months of 2021.

The Suicide Fatality Review Team (SFRT) investigates deaths by suicide in Laramie County to find underlying risks and factors of each death, to help prevent future suicides.

“We go over cases, and during that discussion we try and identify needs within the systems. Whether that be additional training for community partners, or screening level changes at organizations that provide health-care; just what we can do to try to mitigate risk here in the county,” said Brittany Wardle, Community Prevention Project Director.

The team uses a Suicide Consolidated Risk Assessment Profile (SCRAP), to reference demographics such as age and gender, and outside factors like substance use, to see how and if they were an influencing factor.

Reid said sometimes the best thing you can do is just ask how someone is doing, and be kind.

“There was this one time that I said ‘hi’ and I talked to this person for over an hour, and I had no clue they were going home to die by suicide. They actually did not do it; because somebody reached out and actually talked to them, and to save a life like that, it’s amazing. It brings tears to my eyes just knowing there are so many people out there struggling, wanting to end their life by suicide, and that is not the answer. We are here for everybody,” said Reid.

If you or somebody you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, call 1-800-273-8255 or text “HOME” to 741-741.

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