Hockey battle to benefit the Aspen Hope Center |

Hockey battle to benefit the Aspen Hope Center

ASPEN – The puck will drop Saturday at the Aspen Ice Garden in the Battle of First Responders, a fundraiser for the Aspen Hope Center.

Snowmass firefighters will take on Aspen police at the 7 p.m. game, which follows a free skate with complimentary skate rentals starting at 5 p.m. There also will be Smoke chili and cornbread, locally brewed beer from Carbondale Beer Works, handcrafted Taster’s pizza, tunes from DJ Echo Dafunk and a chuck-a-puck contest with prizes. Admission is $10.

The $100 VIP ticket includes a warm room, hot food and cold drinks.

Like the emergency responders on the ice, the Aspen Hope Center is available to people in crisis 24/7, providing suicide prevention and connecting clients with the help they need. In addition, the center has trained 2,500 people in suicide prevention and has expanded the training into public schools. The center began operation in June 2010.

Its Hopeline (970-925-5858) puts callers in contact with a clinician at any time of the day or night; the clinician determines the caller’s degree of crisis and decides on a course of action. Approximately 76 percent of people who call the Hopeline are in a state of crisis, according to the center.

The Hope Center’s Virtual Intensive Outreach Program, an alternative to in-patient hospitalization, provides clients with the choice to receive specialized care in a familiar environment with local practitioners and agencies from Aspen to Parachute. The client is seen on a daily basis by several professionals – until he or she is stabilized and able to move on to the next step of regular therapy.

The center also offers psychiatric crisis-management training to law enforcement officials, medical first responders and others so they have the ability to recognize psychological symptoms and possibly avert or temper a crisis situation.

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