By almost every measure, Monday was a good day around here. Firefighters upped containment of the Waldo Canyon Fire to 70 percent. More evacuees were allowed to return home. And Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado announced that since June 23, people had donated an incredible 1 million pounds of food.
But Monday night, Janet Karnes, executive director of the Suicide Prevention Partnership of the Pikes Peak Region, sent out the following message:
"If you or someone you know are demonstrating signs of depression — feeling of hopelessness or helplessness, loss of appetite, overwhelming sadness, uncontrollable crying, sleeping too much or too little, or other symptoms — please contact the local suicide prevention partnership hotline at 719-596-5433, which will connect you to Metro Crisis Services. Professional counselors are only a phone call away at no cost."
Such is life in this region right now. Every push meets a pull; every inspiring story gets countered by a devastating one. One breath tastes sweet, and then the wind changes, and you're inhaling smoke again.
These are incredibly trying times, with others ahead. Think of all the ups and downs we've felt since the tragedy of last Tuesday, and it's clear that we'd be wise to take heed of Karnes' warning.
Thanks to the endless work of our firefighters and support personnel, we may be able to peel our eyes away from the mountains pretty soon. But hopefully we can pledge to keep watching each other.