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(Placerville, CA) - September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. During the month of September, the El Dorado County (EDC) Behavioral Health Division encourages the community to "know the signs, find the words, and reach out" to prevent suicide, as well as learn about local suicide prevention resources.
"Suicide is a difficult subject to discuss," says EDC Behavioral Health Director, Nicole Ebrahimi-Nuyken, LMFT. "It's a topic riddled with taboo and shame, and is often avoided in conversation. Individuals can experience feelings of powerlessness and uncertainty about their path forward toward effective intervention. Although it's uncomfortable to talk about suicide, these conversations need to happen so that people can be helped. Suicide is preventable."
Stephanie Carlson currently serves as the Chair of El Dorado County's Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan Committee. According to Carlson, "recognizing the warning signs of suicide and starting the conversation with someone who may be thinking about suicide may save a life."
El Dorado County participates in the "Know the Signs" campaign, an effort funded by counties through the voter-approved Mental Health Services Act (Prop. 63). The campaign outlines the steps to take when talking with someone who may be thinking about suicide:
"I'm hopeful that everyone in the community learns these signs and knows what to do if someone is in distress," says Carlson. "By raising awareness and educating ourselves and others, we can help prevent suicide. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger to themselves or others don't hesitate to call 911."
Additional suicide prevention resources include:
Behavioral Health's Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan Committee is comprised of El Dorado County community members who are subject matter experts in their fields, including suicide prevention. The goal of the Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan is to identify action steps in suicide prevention, intervention and postvention. Individuals with questions about the Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan Committee or who are interested in contributing to the Committee are asked to please email Stephanie Carlson at MHSASP@edcgov.us
For general information about El Dorado County Behavioral Health's services, call (530) 621-6290 in Placerville or (530) 573-7970 in South Lake Tahoe. More information can also be found online at www.edcgov.us/mentalhealth.
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