The Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment appoints members to the Commission. The twenty-six commissioners represent Coloradoans who have direct personal experiences with suicide, who work in suicide prevention organizations and programs, and who come from communities that face high suicide risks in our state. Here is a list of all the current and former commissioners as well as the seats that they represent.
The full Commission meets four times a year (see the bottom of this page for this year’s meeting schedule). At these meetings, the Office of Suicide Prevention provides updates on its work, commissioners discuss and approve recommendations for suicide prevention, and members of the public and suicide prevention professionals provide their expertise on what forms of suicide prevention are needed.
Workgroup meetings of the Commission are where members of the public and commissioners research specific aspects of suicide prevention, collaborate to connect existing resources and services, and create recommendations for the full Commission to discuss and approve.
Recommendations are a core of the Commission’s work. Recommendations set the priorities for the Office of Suicide Prevention’s work and set an example for organizations, government programs, and individuals across the state as to what a comprehensive solution to suicidal despair can be. After a recommendation is approved by the Commission, the Office of Suicide Prevention works to incorporate this guidance into its work, sometimes by adapting existing programs and other times by seeking new funding and creating new initiatives. In addition, recommendations empower community members and organizations by providing suggestions and roadmaps for how to best prevent suicide locally; they can be incorporated into a school’s or organization’s suicide prevention strategies, cited as a rationale for community organizations seeking grant funding, or provide the inspiration for individuals to take action in their communities.
In 2016, the commission conducted a survey of Colorado's mental health providers on their professional experiences with suicide and training needs for responding to suicidal clients.