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Suicide Prevention in Steamboat Springs

Last year, an estimated 12.3 million American adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.5 million planned a suicide attempt and 1.7 million attempted suicide. If these numbers don’t shock you, they should.

Steamboat Springs is not immune to the tragedy of suicide. In fact, Steamboat Springs’ suicide rate from 2000-2020 was nearly 2 points higher than the state average. Hard to believe that in a community like ours, surrounded by beatific outdoor space and activities galore, so many of our friends and neighbors have considered ending their own lives.

September is National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month and a time to reflect on the mental health issues that challenge our locals. We’re fortunate to have an organization like REPS (Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide) who’s mission it is to preserve, protect, and promote life by raising awareness and providing a lifeline of support and healing in our community. Billo is proud to support the work they do and the services they provide.

During the month of September, 10% of sales from Wyld Gummies and Escape Artists brand products will be donated to REPS. “We have many customers walk through the doors looking for cannabis products to help with mental wellness” said Dave Wittlinger of Billo.

People often look to these products for help with anxiety, sleep, PTSD, and other mental health challenges.

In a 2020 study, the National Library of Medicine published a summary detailing the possible therapeutic applications of cannabis use for major depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, and schizophrenia. Research has also been done specific to the use of CBD (cannabidiol) as an alternative treatment for schizophrenia, depression, psychosis, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, and substance-use disorders. While studies are on-going, early discoveries have shown positive results in using cannabis derivatives in both treating and maintaining mental health.

REPS is the leading resource and volunteer organization positively changing lives in both Routt and Moffat Counties. They accomplish this by providing suicide prevention and support programs. While not a crisis center, REPS offers free counseling to both youth and adults who are struggling and in need of help. They also offer many support groups including grief support for those who have lost a loved one to suicide. One of their largest fundraisers of the year is the Night of Hope & Healing held at the Old Town Pub on November 3rd.

“We’ve supported REPS in several ways this year including sponsorship of their Bowling Against Bullying fundraiser and now this” says Charlie Peddie, Billo Chief of Operations, talking about the September percentage-of-sales donation. “This has been an incredible partnership and one we hope to continue for a long time.”

Wyld Canna, makers of Wyld gummy edibles, holds health & wellness as one of the company’s core values and didn’t hesitate at all to partner with Billo on this fundraising opportunity benefitting Steamboat Springs. With a single phone call, Wyld was all in on helping with this.

The executives at Escape Artists had a similar response. When asked about their interest in supporting this effort, Nick Ayde, Territory Manager for Escape Artists responded with the following:

This issue is something I am personally passionate about because I have lost family members to suicide, so thank you for doing this.

Beyond just that, the team at Escape Artists had this to say.

“At Escape Artists, we understand the importance of reaching out a hand to those struggling with mental health. Like many, we have felt the personal and profound impact of loss due to suicide, and it fuels our commitment to spreading awareness and compassion during National Suicide Prevention & Awareness Month. We are deeply honored to join Billo in support of REPS and their mission to prevent suicide in the Yampa Valley community.”

We are thrilled to partner with these fine brands in this way and support a local non-profit that means so much to so many in this community. We encourage our customers to explore these products and help support REPS in any way they can.

As stated on the REPS website, “Helping one person might not change the world, but it could change the world for that one person.”

If you or someone you know is having thoughts about suicide, please call 988 for the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline or you can text TALK to 741-741 to reach a volunteer Crisis Counselor from anywhere in the United States. In Colorado, you can call Colorado Crisis Services at 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or text “TALK” to 38255. In an emergency, call 911