Author to speak on bipolar disorder

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What: Reaching Everybody Preventing Suicide (REPS) presents author Dr. Jane Mountain, who will talk about "Taking the Mystery Out of Depression and Bipolar Disorder."

When: 7 p.m. today

Where: Citizens Meeting Room in Centennial Hall

Cost: Free to all

— Steamboat Springs resident Ronna Autrey can cite Colorado's alarming suicide statistics - the state ranks seventh nationwide in annual suicides, and the Yampa Valley suffers between 10 and 12 a year, above both the state and national averages - but she would rather take action to help alleviate the source of the problem.

"Depression and bipolar disorder can both lead to suicide - these are diseases that can be treated," Autrey said Tuesday.

Autrey lost her son to suicide in 2001 and has since become involved with REPS, Reaching Everybody Preventing Suicide, a local peer-led depression and bipolar support group that meets twice a month. Last year, Autrey attended a Jane Mountain seminar about running such support groups and was enamored enough with the speaker and author that she invited Mountain to Steamboat Springs for a presentation.

"She's a very good speaker who speaks from first-hand experience," Autrey said about Mountain, who is an honorary board member of the Mental Health Association of Colorado. "Plus, she's a doctor and has started a lot of support groups across the Front Range."

Mountain's presentation, titled "Taking the Mystery Out of Depression and Bipolar Disorder," will start at 7 p.m. today at Centennial Hall.

The presentation aims to answer questions surrounding the diseases with the belief that education will result in preventing hospitalizations and suicides. The presentation is free to the public, and no advance registration is required. Autrey encouraged those suffering from depression and bipolar disorder as well as concerned family members, school personnel and community leaders to attend.

For more information about REPS, call 879-2141.

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