I had the opportunity to see the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge outside of Taos, NM recently and I must say that it is an amazing piece of human engineering. At first the bridge looked like a normal bridge as I drove over it, but the moment I step out of the car to look I was stunned. The bridge is a huge steel structure that provides a passage over the beautiful gorge. It has to be one of the most beautiful steel bridges in America and the landscape is breath taking. It is unfortunate that such a beautiful spot has been used for suicides. The problem has been real and one idea to help those in that crisis is to install crisis phones. These phones are on both sides of the bridge and the beginning to. They are easy to use call boxes that only require you pushing a single button. I was happy to see the State of New Mexico take this initiative to help everyone who is facing the struggle of taking their life. Enjoy some of the photos I have taken and please spread the word that hope is there. If you need help for suicide please check the following resources. If you feel like you are at your end call 911 and let them know you need help.
Click here for the National Suicide Lifeline
Click here for Suicide Prevention and Help Numbers
How do you prevent a situation from spiraling out of control into a full crisis? This is a question we often ask ourselves when we think of first responders and individuals living with mental illness. We came up with a simple idea to help reduce the negative impact of a response, food and follow up information.
The idea is to create small bags, gallon size plastic storage bags, which have food and resource information. We teamed up with Roadrunner food bank to help create this new innovative program. These bags are pliable and easy to put in police cruisers and fire vehicles, where space is limited.
Each bag contains food items that would account for a meal, water, and a resource guide. The resource guide has follow up information for help in food, medical, mental health, counseling, housing, and more.
This is a very exciting time as we create a program that could be modeled by all first responder agencies. This gives first responders a resource to immediately help someone in need and slow their response by having options. I want to thank Wal-Mart who gave us a small community grant to help kick-start this program. This is currently being done with in the Albuquerque Police Department’s Southeast area command.
I want to thank the APD’s CIU and COAST teams for helping out with packing the bags and getting them out to officers! This could not have been done with out the amazing and great people who have donated to us!
The Mental Health Minute