UP to Grace for 2 Brothers, Boys and Girls Clubs of Wyoming and Blue Cross Blue Shield for taking much-needed suicide prevention training to clubs and other organizations across the state.

The pilot program began here in Cheyenne with all Boys and Girls staff and club members 14 and older. It uses the QPR concept – Question, Persuade, Refer – to help people recognize early warning signs and seek help. Those who participate are trained to become trainers themselves.

When the training was done at the club, chief professional officer Rolinda Sample decided to see if others in the community were interested in receiving the same training. When she approached a local Rotary Club, 80 members signed up.

We’re thrilled to hear so many people want to help address the state’s suicide rate, which has been consistently higher than the national average at between 20 and 30 for every 100,000 people since 2007, according to the Wyoming Injury and Violence Prevention Project.

Now, thanks to a $65,000 grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Caring Foundation, the local pilot program is expanding to seven Boys and Girls Club locations across the state. Grace for 2 Brothers operations manager Rhianna Brand said staff and teens 14 and older will receive the training, but the overall goal will be to train 21 new trainers at each site, who will then be responsible for training 60 more people during the next year.

If even a single person is saved as a result of this effort, it will be worth it. But the scope of this program has the potential to be transformative. We’re thrilled to see it growing in this way.

UP to the Cheyenne City Council for establishing a new open data policy that commits the city to proactively releasing all publishable city data, and making it freely available to users in various open formats.

According to city officials, the policy will apply to all city departments, offices, administrative units, commissions, boards, advisory committees and other divisions of city government. It also will apply to third-party contractors that create or acquire information on behalf of the city.

Under the policy, the city will maintain a place on its website or somewhere else online where the published data will be available. It’s unclear at this point exactly what kind of data residents should expect to find, but an example presented at a recent council meeting was the number of building permits pulled in a month.

While we’ll reserve final judgment until we see the finished product, we’re cautiously optimistic and encouraged by the city’s apparent willingness to make it easier for the public get information that’s clearly meant to be available already.

And speaking of transparency ...

UP to U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., for co-sponsoring a bill that would require the federal government to make a public inventory of every federal program in an effort to reduce duplication and waste.

The bipartisan, bicameral Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act passed the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on July 24. The House version was referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on July 18.

As long as it doesn’t create a large amount of bureaucracy and wasteful spending itself, the resulting report could save taxpayers millions of dollars. If that’s the case, we hope this legislation sails through the rest of the process and becomes law.

UP to Wyoming’s legislative leaders for pushing for the creation of a statewide gaming commission.

As we said above, we’re not big fans of larger government. But this is an area that needs more supervision and direction. For years, law enforcement officials have dealt with vague laws that don’t make it clear whether certain types of gambling are allowed or not.

If a new commission can simply provide some clearer direction, it will be worth the effort.

WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU THINK: Contact us via email at opinion@wyomingnews.com.

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