BEE HEARD: September is Suicide Prevention Month Find power in your purpose

Photo Credit: Native Connections

This month’s theme: Find Power in Your Purpose! There are no mistakes in creation, everything has a purpose and a journey, including us as human beings. And throughout our journey here on Mother Earth our purpose might change from time to time depending on many factors such as our age, relationships, family, friends, community, environment, and many other things. That’s the beauty of this gift the Creator blessed us with, the ability to adapt, re-evaluate, change, and overcome.

Respecting each person’s journey and purpose is key to reducing harm to ourselves and others. We are all not the same, we are as different as our fingerprints, and our experiences are unique to ourselves. These experiences effect each of us differently and respecting one another and giving each other the opportunity to experience, grow, learn, and change is important for not only our own mental wellbeing but for others as well.

How experiences shape our purpose. Our experiences, our families’ experiences, and even our ancestors’ experiences shape our lives and purpose. This might shock you but our ancestor’s experiences, whether good or not so good, has impacted our lives whether we know it or not. And just like them, our experiences are also being recorded and may affect our grandchildren’s grandchildren down the line. Wow, isn’t that food for thought?

If we follow this line of thinking, how we live our lives right now, what purpose we chose for ourselves could affect our future generations. So, finding things that make you happy, doing things that make you feel whole, or maybe doing things that make others happy — which makes you feel accomplished could be a great start in finding your purpose. The direction we choose in life is ours and ours alone and we have the power to make changes as we see fit. If you find yourself down a path that’s not making you happy or is causing harm to yourself or others, it might be time to re-evaluate and make changes you see fit.

It’s important to give yourself space, time, and credit. We are not perfect, no one is. At some point in all our lives we might experience pain, hurt, heartache and we also might experience joy, love, and happiness. Sometimes there might be periods of long happiness or even sadness. Know that even though our experiences and journeys might be our own, we don’t have to go through them alone. Just like we reach out to share our joys in life, we can do the same if we aren’t feeling so happy. It’s important that we don’t shy away or secretly suffer alone. Especially if you feel like harming yourself or if you feel like dying. Sometimes we may lose sight of our purpose in life but there is help here and people who can help you explore and reconnect to what brings joy back into your life.

If you need to talk to someone, please reach out. It’s okay not to feel okay. If you or someone you know has been struggling with their emotions, behaviors, or substance

use please reach out to us. We can help you find appropriate tools and services that could help you overcome obstacles in your life. We are here for you. Please contact the Southern Ute Behavioral Health Division or the Native Connections Program at 970.563.5700 for more information or to set up an appointment to see a counselor or therapist.

Check out this month’s calendar of events and flyers for great community events both in person and virtually! Please check out this month’s event calendar and flyers for great opportunities to reconnect with others, learn some self-care tips, how to respond to someone in a mental health crisis, and much more!

Are you ready to help create a drug-free community? Want to help and be a part of the change? We are looking for community members and youth to join the Prevention Coalition tasked to reduce youth substance usage, eliminate mental health stigma, and start the discussion around suicide and prevention. We have monthly coalition meetings and workshops to help our community understand the real story behind alcohol, meth, opioids, vaping, marijuana, and other drugs in our community. We need your help! All meetings are held virtually. For more information, please contact Precious Collins, Native Connections Program Coordinator for more information 970-563-5700 or email


Local Resources

  • Southern Ute Health Center – Behavioral Health Division: NEW LOCATION AND PHONE NUMBER! 4101 CR 222 Durango, Co 970-563-5700. For local Native Americans. We are here to support mental health, substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery. Please call to schedule an appointment to talk to someone.
  • Southern Ute Division of Social Services: 116 Capote Drive, Ignacio, CO 970-563-2331 or for local Native Americans needing assistance with child welfare needs and family support.
  • Southern Ute Police Department: Anonymous Tip Hotline Do you have information about a crime? Please call (970) 563-4999. This “Tip Line” was designed to allow you the ability to provide law enforcement with information, anonymously, if need be, regarding criminal, drug, or suspicious activity. The “Tip Line” is monitored around the clock by SUPD Investigators, but it DOES NOT replace 9-1-1 or the non-emergency police number (970) 563-4401.
  • St Ignatius Catholic Church: Pastor Cesar Arras, 14826 CO-172, Ignacio, CO 970-563-4241.
  • Ignacio Community Church: Pastor Randall Haynes 405 Browning Ave, Ignacio, CO (currently located inside ELHI) 970-759-3633
  • Second Wind Fund of the Four Corners: Believes that every child and youth at risk of suicide should have access to the mental health treatment they need. We match children and youth at risk for suicide with licensed therapists in their communities, 720-962-0706.
  • Women’s Resource Center, creates personal, social, and professional growth opportunities for all women in La Plata County, 970-247-1242.


24/7 State or National Resources

  • 24/7 Axis Crisis Line: SW Colorado 970-247-5245 or Text 741741
  • Colorado Crisis Line: 844-493-8255 or Text “TALK” to 38255. You’ll immediately be put in contact with a trained counselor, ready to text with you about anything.
  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Has both an online chat and a 24/7 phone line at 1-800-273-8255 if you are thinking of suicide or need help for a loved one.
  • The Trevor Project: Which seeks to serve LGBT youth, has a 24/7 suicide prevention line at 866-488-7386.
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