During this national suicide prevention week, I would like to take a moment and share some of the work being done and the resources available in our community to prevent such tragedies. Stigma around suicide often creates a false sense that it is less prevalent than it truly is. In fact, some statistics show suicide is more than twice as common as homicide. Nationwide, it is the 10th leading cause of death. In Contra Costa County, roughly 120 people die by suicide every year.
These tragic acts don’t need to occur. Suicide is preventable and help is available. More than 90 percent of people who die by suicide have an underlying mental disorder such as depression, bipolar disorder or alcohol or substance abuse problems at the time of their death. If we each take a moment to learn about the warning signs and the available resources, we may someday save a life.
Over the years, I’ve walked Out of the Darkness Overnight to help shine a light on suicide. This issue is very personal and very important to me. Through my experience and the experiences of others, I know the difference we can make if we integrate mental health service into primary health care.
Below is a Get Ready, Get Healthy episode created by Contra Costa Health Services. It’s 30 minutes long and shares some very powerful and moving stories. At the bottom of this post, I’ve also included some resources where you can get more information about suicide and helping people through trying times.
Healthy Outlook: Spotting the Signs of Suicide - http://cchealth.org/column/2011_1013_healthy_outlook.php
Contra Costa Crisis Center: Call 1-800-273-8255 or visit www.crisis-center.org
Trevor Project: Call 1-866-4-U-TREVOR or visit www.thetrevorproject.org
Contra Costa Mental Health: www.cchealth.org
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