September is suicide prevention month

Suicide prevention is everyone’s business

(Placerville, California) – September is National Suicide Prevention Month – a time to emphasize that suicide prevention is everyone’s business. “Suicide can be a difficult topic to discuss, riddled with taboos and shame, and a topic often avoided in conversations,” said Nicole Ebrahimi-Nuyken, El Dorado County Behavioral Health Director. “By working together as a community, we can not only break this stigma, but also take steps to help people struggling with mental health issues get the resources and support they need.”

According to the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is among the nine leading causes of death in the United States among people aged 10 to 64 and is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10 to 14. years and 25 to 34 years. More than 41,000 suicide deaths occurred in the United States in 2020, or one death every 11 minutes. In El Dorado County, a total of 35 residents died by suicide in 2020. From 2015 to 2019, an average of 33 county residents died by suicide each year.

“These suicides are tragic and affect not only the individual and their family who are often in shock and grief, but also entire communities,” Ebrahimi-Nuyken said. “Community members often experience feelings of sadness and helplessness, as well as uncertainty about the path forward to effective intervention. In July 2020, the County Health and Human Services Agency of ‘El Dorado, Division of Behavioral Health, initiated an El Dorado County Suicide Strategic Planning Group with the overarching goal of preventing deaths by suicide. A strategic suicide prevention plan developed by this group was presented to the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors on July 19, 2022. To view a copy of the plan, please visit: https://www.edcgov.us/Government/MentalHealth

Individuals with questions about the plan or who would like to provide input on the plan can contact Behavioral Health at MHSASP@edcgov.us.

Although suicide is a deeply complex and difficult issue, it is also highly preventable, according to Ebrahimi-Nuyken. “Knowing the signs of suicide can help you save a life,” Ebrahimi-Nuyken said. “If these warning signs apply to you or someone you know, get help as soon as possible, especially if the behavior is new or has increased recently.”

The behaviors listed below may be signs that someone is thinking about suicide:

  • Talk about wanting to die or wanting to commit suicide
  • Talk about feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, or having no reason to live
  • Make a plan or find a way to commit suicide, such as researching lethal methods online, stockpiling pills, or buying a gun
  • Talking about feeling trapped or feeling there are no solutions
  • Feeling unbearable pain (emotional pain or physical pain)
  • Talk about being a burden to others
  • Using alcohol or drugs more often
  • Acting anxious or restless
  • Withdraw from family and friends
  • Changing eating and/or sleeping habits
  • Showing rage or talking about wanting revenge
  • Taking great risks that could lead to death, such as driving extremely fast
  • Talking or thinking about death often
  • Displaying extreme mood swings, suddenly going from very sad to very calm or happy
  • Donate important goods
  • Say goodbye to friends and family; Putting order, making a will

Many resources are available to help those who may be experiencing a mental health emergency or having suicidal thoughts. These resources include the following:

  • 24/7 National Suicide Hotline
    Call, text or chat 9-8-8
  • Placerville 24/7 Crisis Line
    Call 530-622-3345
  • 24/7 South Lake Tahoe Crisis Line
    Call 530-644-2219
  • LGBTQ Youth Trevor Project
    Dial 1-866-488-7386
  • Crisis text line
    Text “Hello” to 741741

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