The Los Angeles County Suicide Prevention Network (LASPN), in partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, has released the 2019 Suicide Prevention Report to the Community providing an update on the status of suicide and suicide prevention activities throughout Los Angeles County.
The 2019 Suicide Prevention Report to the Community includes information about local suicide prevention efforts, information on help-seeking, supports and crisis resources, as well as data on suicide deaths and attempts.
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and his wife Angela Padilla joined County Supervisor Kathryn Barger (Fifth District), along with Dr. Barbara Ferrer (Director, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health), Dr. Curley Bonds (Chief Medical Officer, Clinical Operations, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health), and Lisa Salazar (Policy Director, Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti) to address Los Angeles County’s efforts to reduce suicides and provide supports to those impacted by thoughts of suicide. In addition to the person suffering from those thoughts, this includes their family, loved ones and community.
Dr. Ferrer provided an update on suicide deaths in Los Angeles County, noting that suicides in-creased over the six-year period from 2012-2017. Of the 891 suicide deaths in 2017, 27 suicide deaths were of youth and adolescents and 93 suicide deaths were of military veterans.
The report also included encouraging news highlighting that an increased number of people are reaching out for help and lending their support to raise awareness about suicide prevention.
In 2018, 102,312 calls, chats and texts were made to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Teen Line from Los Angeles County community members. Last year, over 16,000 community members were trained in suicide prevention, and more than 7,400 people attended suicide prevention awareness walk events. In addition, nearly 3.5 million youth and young adults were reached by awareness and media campaigns promoting mental health and suicide prevention in Los Angeles County.
“We know suicide disproportionately affects some specific communities, and our effort includes targeted outreach to those who need it most, including our first responders who face immense stress and trauma on the job,” said Supervisor Barger. “It’s our duty to educate our communities about how to recognize signs and offer support— and to provide a safety net for people in crisis.”
In response to the needs of the community, the Los Angeles County Suicide Prevention Network (LASPN) is in the process of developing a strategic plan to provide a public health framework to reduce suicides in Los Angeles County. Key elements of the plan include strengthening protective factors and wellbeing, raising awareness of the warning signs for suicide and local re-sources, early intervention by training those in a position to intervene, effective crisis response, and providing support after a suicide attempt or death.
“We know that suicide cannot be solved by one entity alone, and through the efforts of County of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Suicide Prevention Network we invite all community members to join us in finding their role in suicide prevention,” said Tracie Andrews, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and Co-Chair of the Los Angeles County Suicide Prevention Network. “There is a hero in each of us, that can assist someone in finding their reasons for living.”
More information about the LASPN the full 2019 Suicide Prevention Report to the Community can be found on the LASPN’s website: LASuicidePreventionNetwork.org
Information on Crisis Resources:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7:
Veterans: press 1 or text 838255
Para español, oprima el numero 2
Call 310.855.4673 (6 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily)
or text TEEN to 839863 (6 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily)
Submitted by Mimi Martinez McKay, Deputy Director, Strategic Communications