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The original item was published from 3/10/2016 2:38:00 PM to 4/30/2016 12:20:01 PM.

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San Miguel County Sheriff News

Posted on: March 10, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Third Suicide in County in Two Weeks "Alarming" Sheriff says

Third Suicide in County in Two Weeks “Alarming” Sheriff says

Contact: Susan Lilly, Public Information Officer 970-729-2028

March 10, 2016 -- (Telluride, CO) – In the wake of the third suicide by firearms in the last two weeks in San Miguel County, Sheriff Bill Masters says there is cause for concern and is encouraging the community to take meaningful steps to prevent another tragedy.

“It’s alarming – our rate (San Miguel County) of suicide by firearm in the past 12 months is now six times higher than the national average,” Sheriff Masters said.

While the three victims had little in common (they were all white, and over age 55), they all had access to firearms. Sheriff Masters said, “Keep firearms locked, and in some situations, you may need to remove them from immediate access by anyone having difficulties with depression or substance abuse.”

Sheriff Masters also asks that the community watch for signs of distress in their family, friends and co-workers.

Sheriff Masters was quick to add they he was not insinuating these steps would have made a difference in any of these recent cases, rather they are prudent measures overall. There is little indication any of the victims were behaving in a manner that would cause their family or friends alarm prior to taking their lives.

“We are deeply saddened for these families and their losses,” Sheriff Masters said.

And finally, if you yourself is suffering from depression or feeling suicidal, please seek help. “Talk to someone, reach out. Suicide is not the answer.”

The Center for Mental Health in Montrose operates a 24 hour crisis line (970-252-6220) for mental health emergencies.

The San Miguel Sheriff’s Office, located in Telluride, Colorado and established in 1883, serves 7,800 residents and countless visitors across the 1,288 square miles of San Miguel County. Sheriff Bill Masters has been serving as the county’s elected Sheriff since 1980.

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