Suicide Prevention Week for 2013 is September 8 through 14 and the Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency, along with local partners, want residents to know about prevention resources.
California rates 44th in the nation in its rate of suicide deaths, but has a higher number of suicide deaths than any other state. Nationally, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death with one suicide occurring, on average, every 14.2 minutes. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among 15 to 24-year-olds. The elderly make up 12.9% of the population, but comprise 15.9% of all suicides. Additionally, approximately 38,364 Americans died by suicide in 2010, leaving behind friends, family members, or loved ones who are deeply impacted by those suicide deaths.
For these reasons, Tulare & Kings counties are working with local law enforcement on implementation of a LOSS team, compromised of individuals who have themselves endured the challenges of losing a person to suicide. If you are interested in volunteering for the LOSS Team, please visit www.sptf.org to learn more.
“Statistics can be alarming, but suicide is still quite rare, and there is a tremendous amount of help and support available to preserve the life of those at-risk," said Noah Whitaker, Community Outreach Manager and member of the Tulare & Kings Suicide Prevention Task Force. "With your help, with your hope, we can make a difference.”
The task force also offers training to help save lives via Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) which are both offered regularly. This year is the 4th Annual Festival of Hope to raise awareness of resources relating to suicide prevention, held at the Tulare Outlet Center on Saturday and Sunday, September 28-29, 2013.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). This phone number is free, confidential, and offers a kind and concerned voice to talk with.
For more information, please visit www.sptf.org or Facebook.com/HOPE.SPTF