From 2017 to 2021, there was a 29% increase in youth suicides, ages 15 to 19, making it one of the leading causes of death in San Diego.
To combat this crisis, the County Health and Human Services Agency has developed a pilot program to prevent young people from attempting suicide, follow-up care during or after suicidal thoughts, and causing self-harm.
The County is tentatively getting $4.1 million for this pilot program from the California Department of Public Health. This is in hopes of creating a rapid reporting of these situations and comprehensive crisis responses to help with youth suicide attempts, ages 25 and under, as well as possible.
Another aspect this funding could improve is suicide prevention programs in schools; it would give them access to therapy, resources, training, and many other helpful ways of prevention.
If approved, the funding could potentially benefit Chula Vista as there are existing prevention programs and resources for suicide help in the city, such as MGS Crisis Intervention located at 333 H St #3016, Chula Vista, CA 91910, and the San Diego County Health Mental Center at 730 Medical Center Ct, Chula Vista, CA 91911. However, there is still a need for additional resources in the city.
If you search for “suicide prevention programs in Chula Vista” on Google, you’ll find limited options. Only four mental health centers and crisis prevention programs are currently available.
For now, we only know about the kind of programs the County is trying to implement; the cities that this program will impact are yet to be determined.
The current programs that the County already has are, “It’s Up to Us,” a campaign used to create awareness on this topic; for more information on this program, visit https://up2sd.org/. The County’s Mobile Crisis Response Team sends professionals to connect suicidal people with helpful resources, visit https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/mcrt/ for more info. And the County’s 27/7 crisis line is available to help and give information to those in crisis, call (888) 724-7240.
Keep out for these red flags in people you may know and your loved ones to help prevent a possible suicide:
● Withdrawing socially
● Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
● A sudden decrease in school performance and behavior issues
● Drop in work performance
● Changes in hygiene and appearance
● Increased irritability
● Feelings of hopelessness and/or that one is a burden to others
● Talk of death or dying or not wanting to be around anymore
● Researching possible methods for suicide
● Increased use of alcohol or drugs
● Acting more impulsively