Friday, September 19, 2014

"Are We Crazy About Our Kids? -- the Cost/Benefit Equation" Film Screening in Grand Junction, CO

The Avalon Theatre and Rocky Mountain PBS host screening of early childhood development film

The Avalon Theatre is gearing up for their grand reopening with several events in September, including a public screening of PBS’ Raising of America series episode, “Are We Crazy About Our Kids- The Cost/Benefit Equation,” Monday September 22 at the Avalon Theatre in downtown Grand Junction.

The 30-minute documentary examines the economic advantages of investing in high-quality early childhood care and education, from birth to five years of age.

“We need to delve into discussions about how to make our education system work best for our youngest community members. This film could help us do that,” Robbie Breaux, Avalon Grand Opening Committee Chair, said.

The event is open to the public, with a special reception at 6:30 p.m. and the film at 7:30pm. A panel discussion will follow. “The panel discussion should be very interesting and engage the audience in a way that makes the film even more meaningful,” Breaux said.

Ryan Stringfellow, Regional Director of RMPBS, said, “We’re very excited about this collaboration with the Avalon. Not only is this a very important message to deliver to the community, but Rocky Mountain PBS is gets to show this film in the beautiful new building in which so many people contributed time and funding. We live in a very generous community.”

The $9.65 million project doubled the size of the theatre. The reopening week is full of events, including the #2 cellist in the world performing with the Grand Junction Symphony Sept. 20, to showcase the acoustic improvements Avalon made during the renovation.

For more information on the event, please call Rocky Mountain PBS at 970.245.1818.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day

Light a candle of hope...

State employees are invited to wear yellow and gray
on Wednesday, Sept. 10 for World Suicide Prevention Day. 

The Colorado State Employee Assistance Program (C-SEAP) and Colorado State Employee Wellness Program, which are part of the Department of Personnel & Administration, along with the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment's (CDPHE) Office of Suicide Prevention, the Colorado Department of Human Services and the Carson J Spencer Foundation, have joined together to call attention to the State's suicide prevention efforts.

"We're asking people to wear yellow and gray not only to raise awareness about suicide, but to convey a message of hope," said C-SEAP Director Randi Wood. "We want to visibly demonstrate to those suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts that we support them on their journey from darkness to light."

State employees can pick up a free yellow and gray ribbon sticker and access other important informational resources between 8 and 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 10 at C-SEAP's offices, 1525 Sherman St. Stickers will also be handed out to visitors at the Colorado State Capitol on Wednesday morning.

The national theme for this year's suicide prevention efforts is connectedness. Everyone is invited to help raise suicide awareness by posting photos of their yellow and gray outfits and ribbons via social media venues using the hashtags #suicideprevention and #COconnected.

Also on Sept. 10, people are encouraged to light a candle in a window to raise awareness and remember those lost to suicide, or attend a candle-lighting ceremony hosted by the Carson J Spencer Foundation from 7:15 to 8:30 p.m. at Denver Union Station.

In 2013, suicide ranked above motor vehicle accidents as the number one injury-related cause of death in the state. CDPHE reports that Colorado regularly ranks in the top 10 states annually for suicides.

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a proclamation designating the week of Sept. 7 through 13, 2014, as Suicide Prevention Week. The proclamation indicates that many Coloradans are struggling to cope with the pressures of mental illness, a stressed economy, substance abuse or other factors that render them thinking suicide is their only alternative.

CDPHE offers all Colorado citizens assistance through the Suicide Prevention Lifeline -- an online and telephone resource to help those in a suicide crisis. "One of the major challenges facing those who suffer from mental illness or substance abuse is the stigma that is associated with seeking help," said Jarrod Hindman, director of the CDPHE's Office of Suicide Prevention.  "We need to reduce the social pressure that keeps some from seeking life-saving assistance, and recognize this as a winnable battle."

C-SEAP offers no cost, confidential counseling services for State employees and their families at locations throughout the state. Individual services include drug and alcohol, work and family, couples/relationship, domestic violence, stress, and grief or loss counseling and can be accessed at  or by calling 1-800-821-8154. State employees may also have additional coverage through their health benefits provider. The State Employee Wellness Program has also incorporated mental health into an online program for employees.

"The State believes that early intervention and counseling can help reverse the trend of suicidal thoughts and actions, and we intend to educate as many State employees as we can about suicide prevention," said Wood.

Colorado also recently opened its first statewide mental health hotline, the Colorado Crisis and Support Line. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and provides crisis counseling and resource referral from trained professionals and peer specialists for Coloradans experiencing a mental health crisis or with a loved one in crisis. The toll-free number is 844-493-TALK (8255).

"One of our most promising suicide prevention strategies is to 'get upstream,'" said Sally Spencer-Thomas, CEO and Co-Founder of the Carson J Spencer Foundation. "Programs the State is implementing -- like the Working Minds program -- encourage working-aged people to think about their problems in a different way, before problems become catastrophic."

For more information on suicide prevention, please visit the following resources:
Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado at
Online or telephone hotline  or 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
C-SEAP (for state government employees) at
CDPHE Office of Suicide Prevention at
Statewide mental health hotline, 844-493-TALK (8255)
Carson J Spencer Foundation at

State-level results from the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey are now available!

The 2013 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey collected self-reported health information from Colorado middle and high school students. The HKCS was administered in Fall 2013 to approximately 40,000 randomly-selected students from over 220 middle and high schools. The survey is administered to students in odd-numbered years, with the next full administration in Fall 2015.

HKCS is supported by Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), Colorado Department of Education (CDE), and Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS). The University of Colorado Denver is the official contractor for state HKCS. Starting in 2013, Colorado will have data at both the state and regional level, based on the state’s health statistics regions.

The primary use of the data is to identify health priorities in order to better implement school- and community-based strategies to improve and maintain the health of youth.

Access the new state-level data tables at:

Request additional state-level analysis, please submit a request at:

An executive summary, regional data and other topic reports will be available later this fall.

Contact Amy Dillon at 303-692-2398 or with questions.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Grant Opportunity Aligned with Early Childhood Colorado Partnership Strategies

Community First Foundation just announced a new grant opportunity to buffer adversity and toxic stress in the early years with the strategies outlined in the Early Childhood Colorado Partnership Focus Map as a foundation.

The Foundation will award grants through an open, competitive process to eligible nonprofit organizations headquartered in the seven county metro-Denver region. This is an exciting development which will provide opportunities for the network to leverage Partnership work to ensure Colorado children are valued, healthy, and thriving. Many thanks to Community First Foundation for making these resources available. To learn more about the Request for Proposals, please visit the Community First Foundation website.

Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. MDT on Thursday, October 16, 2014


Friday, August 29, 2014

Tips from Existing CFR Teams

During the Local CFR Coordinator training in June 2014, representatives from existing CFR teams hosted a panel to answer questions from new coordinators. Kristy Emerson (from Mesa County), Chloe Leipzig (from Larimer/Jackson Counties), Trish McClain (from Northeast Colorado), Jacque Frenier (from Morgan County), Jodi Byrnes (from Denver County), and Margaret Huffman and Sabra Anckner (both from Jefferson County) participated in the panel and were very helpful to the new coordinators!

When the existing teams were asked about one piece of advice for new local CFR teams, here's what they had to say:

  • Build a strong relationship with the coroner.
  • It's not about blame.
  • Provide food.
  • Have mutual respect among the team members.
  • Acknowledge team members for the tough work they do.
  • It's okay to disagree, but be respectful.
  • Remember that there is a lot of time to review the cases so don't stress about the data collection.
  • Keep the focus on prevention. That is the purpose of child fatality review.
  • Use the state support team. 

If you are interested in reaching out to existing local coordinators with any questions, contact the CFPS support staff and we can connect you with them!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Open Competitive Opportunity for an Essentials for Childhood Program Coordinator

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's Injury, Suicide and Violence Prevention Branch (the same Branch where CFPS is housed) is hiring an Essentials for Childhood Program Coordinator.

The purpose of this position is to provide coordination and project management of child maltreatment prevention activities under the Implementation of Essentials for Childhood: Safe, Stable, Nurturing Relationships and Environments Grant. Activities include the coordination of collaborative statewide partnerships and strategic processes.

To apply: Essentials for Childhood Program Coordinator

The application will be open until August 29, 2014 or until an adequate applicant pool has been identified. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Position Vacancies on the CFPS State Review Team

Are you interested in serving on the Child Fatality Prevention System State Review Team? Starting this September, there will be several position vacancies on the State Review Team. The team vacancies include:
  • Governor-appointed physician who specializes in traumatic injury or children's health (2 vacancies starting 9/1/14)
  • Governor-appointed nurse who specializes in traumatic injury or children's health (1 vacancy starting 9/1/14)
  • Governor-appointed rural district attorney (currently vacant)
  • Governor-appointed county commissioner (currently vacant)
  • Team-selected Court-appointed Special Advocate Program Director (currently vacant) 

For the governor-appointed positions, interested applicants will need to apply through the Governor's Office of Boards and Commissions using the following link: For the team-selected vacancy, interested applicants can send their resume to

To learn more about the CFPS State Review Team, please read the description below.

CFPS State Review Team Purpose and Duties

The purpose of the Child Fatality Prevention System (CFPS) is to conduct multi-disciplinary and comprehensive reviews of preventable child fatalities that occur in Colorado in order to better understand how and why children die and to develop prevention recommendations to prevent future deaths. Currently, the CFPS State Review Team conducts case-specific reviews on about 220 preventable child fatalities per year including undetermined causes, unintentional injury (e.g., drowning, falls, fires, poisoning), violence (e.g., homicide, any firearm death), motor vehicle incidents, child abuse or neglect, sudden unexpected infant death (e.g., sleep-related deaths), and suicide. The information from the reviews is entered into a web-based data collection tool so that the data can be analyzed and aggregated to identify risk factors and prevention opportunities. On an annual basis, the CFPS State Review Team reviews the aggregated data to prioritize state-level policy recommendations to submit to the governor and the Colorado General Assembly. To read the 2014 annual report, please click this link: 

Although the CFPS State Review Team will continue to review individual cases for the next year, after the 2013 data year ends, local child fatality review teams will conduct the individual reviews. The State Review Team will continue to make state-level, policy-related recommendations for the state legislature based on the prevention recommendations made by the local teams.

Time Commitment

There are five subcommittees that review cases (accident/injury, motor vehicle, sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUID)/sleep-related deaths, child abuse/neglect, and violence). The subcommittees usually meet every other month to review cases (except SUID which meets monthly) for two-hour meetings. Most CFPS State Review Team members sit on at least one subcommittee. 

In addition to the subcommittee meetings, the full CFPS State Review Team meets on a quarterly basis for a two-hour meeting.

All meetings are in Denver, CO, but we always have a call-in option for members that are not in the Denver metro area.  

How to Apply

Please fill out an online application from the Governor's Office of Boards and Commissions. The application can be accessed using the following link: When applying for a position, please select "Child Fatality Prevention Review Team, Colorado State" under the question that asks, "Which Boards and Commissions are you interested in?"