PHOTO: Staff at the Axis Health System Acute Treatment Unit (ATU) hold Caring Contacts notecards on July 29: from top left, Addie Bryant, Mia Frank, Joseph Prekup; from bottom left, Greg Hill, Annie Holmes and Molly Rodriguez.


Caring Contacts note cards are brief, personalized, inspirational communications with patients that are sent out one at a time for six months after a patient leaves the Acute Treatment Unit. The care team’s contact through this method has been found to be effective in suicide prevention and is part of the Axis Zero Suicide program. The ATU staff began sending out cards on July 29, 2020.

“Our team is invested in the process, and we feel privileged to stand beside the patients in our care,” said Molly Rodriguez, Clinical Manager of Axis Health System’s Crossroads at Grandview, which includes the regional Acute Treatment Unit. “We hope that patients receiving ‘Caring Contacts’ will feel seen, valued, and supported.”

The cards feature six colorful and inspiring images that were donated by local artists to support people in crisis. Artwork includes: “Sunrise in Your Soul,” by Toni Jancar of Durango; “Let Your Light Shine Down,” by Jen Manganello of Durango; “Sunset Mirror,” by Rita Jacob of Mancos; “Lake’s Blush,” by Paul Traitin of Mancos; “Peaceful Autumn Flow,” by Sandy Prince of Mancos; and “It’s About Perspective,” by Grace Henderson of Archuleta County.

Artist Toni Jancar said she was grateful for the compassion of Axis staff in this project. “Our family has been has been touched with the devastation of suicide of a loved one. We cannot imagine the deep despair a person must feel that would lead them to think that suicide is their only option,” said Jancar. “I offer this picture as a gift.”

Caring Contacts note cards were the result of a mini-grant administered by the Heart of Axis Employee Giving Fund. The fund provided Axis employees the opportunity to donate charitably and to direct funds to support a wide range of unmet community and patient needs. The funds are all held and managed by the Onward! Foundation. The committee is directed by a volunteer committee of Axis staff.  The committee gathers ideas from Axis staff and prioritizes the use of the available funds to address unique needs for our patient population. They also select projects from community nonprofits. In 2019, the Heart of Axis Committee awarded $12,995 to projects impacting patients and community agencies.