According to the report of the San Diego County Suicide Prevention Council (www.spcsandiego.org) published earlier this month by President Nora Vargas and director of Behavioral Health Services, Luke Bergmann, there was a concerning 26% increase in suicide rates for Hispanic residents of San Diego County from 2012 to 2021. The 7% rise in death rates among youth and adults between the ages of 10 and 24 is another worrying statistic.
Although they stated that 358 suicides were generally reported in 2021, the lowest number in ten years, they also predicted that by 2022, that number would rise to 360.
That same year, the highest suicide rates per 100 million inhabitants were among the white population, with 16.5 cases, and among older adults over 65, with 16.4 cases. The adult population, between 25 and 44 years old, increased by 3%.
“Data trends highlight the need for continued prevention efforts and higher for populations that are especially vulnerable to suicide,” they expressed in the report.
Authorities cautioned: “Suicides in our region must be reduced, and everyone must have the support they require. Proactively seeking help and resources, speaking openly and honestly, and maintaining community connections are crucial.”
A PROGRAM FOR YOUNG PEOPLE IS AVAILABLE
The county announced that it will contribute $4.1 million to a state juvenile suicide reporting and crisis response pilot program during the month of June.
County Health and Human Services Agency representatives at the time stated that this program “could develop new prevention responses, such as systems to continue contact and follow up on care when people under the age of 25 who have suicidal thoughts, self-harm, or attempt suicide end up in the wards of hospitals.”
THE CONTROL OF ACTIVE THOUGHTS
Suicidal thoughts are pretty common. In fact, more than 12 million adults in the United States seriously considered suicide in 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Suicidal thoughts, however, can only occur when a person has frequent thoughts of death or feels they don’t deserve to be alive.
Experts have cautioned that even if you do not have depression or any other mental health diagnosis, these ideas may still occur.
AVOIDING SUICIDE THOUGHTS
● Try to get in touch with a trusted person or a crisis counselor.
● Go somewhere that gives you a sense of security or safety.
● Lock up or discard any weapons, medications, or potential medicines.
● Avoid using alcohol and other drugs.
● Go for a quick stroll, hug a pet, and breathe deeply.
● Enjoy your favorite meal or drink, listen to music, or look at pictures (or videos) of the
people and animals you adore.
● People can speak with a doctor directly at any time of the day or night by calling the
county’s 24-hour crisis and access line (888) 724-7240.
● National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 988 is a nationwide network of community crisis
centers that offers free, private emotional assistance to those who are struggling with
suicidal thoughts, mental health issues, or drug abuse, seven days a week.