By Kristin Espeland
Laramie, WY – September marks the one-year anniversary of the full funding and staffing of the state's suicide prevention task force. Keith Hotle chairs the task force. He says the group's work is even more urgent now as 2006 is shaping up to be one of the worst on record for suicides in the state. And Wyoming already leads the nation in suicide deaths. But Hotle says the task force has made progress planning new strategies for intervention and prevention. The group has just received a federal grant to extend suicide prevention programs into Wyoming schools as well as public awareness campaigns. And Hotle says the group has established a new link with wind river reservation officials to combat the high rate of suicide there.