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(Placerville, CA) – September is National Suicide Prevention Month – a time to emphasize that suicide prevention is everyone's business. "Suicide can be a difficult subject to discuss, riddled with taboo and shame, and a topic often avoided in conversation," said Nicole Ebrahimi-Nuyken, Director of El Dorado County Behavioral Health. "Working together as a community we can not only break that stigma, but also take steps to help those 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 top nine causes of death in the United States for people ages 10-64 and is the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-14 and 25-34. Over 41,000 deaths by suicide occurred in the United States in 2020, equaling one death every 11 minutes. In El Dorado County, a total of 35 residents died by suicide in 2020. From 2015 through 2019, an average of 33 County residents took their lives every year.
"These suicides are tragic, and not only affect the individual and their families who are often in shock and grieving, but also entire communities," Ebrahimi-Nuyken. "Community members often experience feelings of sadness and powerlessness, as well as uncertainty about the path forward toward effective intervention. In July 2020, the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency, Behavioral Health Division, launched an El Dorado County Suicide Strategic Planning Group with the overarching goal of preventing suicide deaths. A suicide prevention strategic plan developed through this group was presented to the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors on July 19, 2022. To see 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.
While suicide is a deeply complex and difficult issue, it is also very preventable, according to Ebrahimi-Nuyken. "Knowing the signs of suicide can help you save a life," said Ebrahimi-Nuyken. "If these warning signs apply to you or someone you know, get help as soon as possible, particularly if the behavior is new or has increased recently."
The behaviors listed below may be signs that someone is thinking about suicide:
Numerous resources are available to help those who may be experiencing a mental health emergency or having suicidal thoughts. These resources include the following:
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