September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Individuals, organizations and allies will be drawing attention to the problem of deaths by suicide and advocating for prevention.
Suicide is a national health problem that currently ranks as the second leading cause of death for ages 10-34. On average, one person dies by suicide every two hours in California.
The impact of COVID-19 has had a significant impact throughout the Santa Barbara community, and has left feelings of isolation, loneliness, economic impact and job joss, and depression, all which impact the mental health of people, and thoughts leading to suicide.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that one in four adults between the ages of 18-24 say they have considered suicide in the past month because of the pandemic.
In a CDC survey of some 5,000 young adults, a surge of anxiety and substance abuse was noted in more than 40% who said they had experienced a mental health or behavioral health condition related to the pandemic.
Nationwide, during September, suicide prevention organizations will be conducting prevention and awareness events. Following are several events taking place in Santa Barbara County.
Sept. 1-30 — Suicide Prevention Virtual Vigil sponsored by HopeNet Carpinteria. Log on at www.hopenetofcarp.org.
Sept. 2, 6-8:30 p.m. — The S Word Screening Movie and Panel Discussion (Zoom). Register at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMrd-mrrzkqGtO6FxB7pWucJ40bvuHtPaW0.
Sept. 9, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. — Suicide Prevention Summit 2020. Register at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0uceGuqT4qHdRmO8BpuaUzOwVIEYda6KzR.
Sept. 10-Oct. 10 — Peace of Mind: 10,000 Steps in the Right Direction. Hosted by Alma Rosa Winery to benefit the Mental Wellness Center, www.mentalwellnesscenter.org.
Ongoing — Pacific Pride Foundation PROUD Youth Groups, PROUD Older Adult Group, Counseling. Information, call 805-963-3636, ext 103.
Sept. 8 — Talking about Suicide: What you need to know to save a life. Webinar with Lisa Firestone, www.Psychalive.org.
Sept. 27, 9-10 a.m. — Out of the Darkness Virtual Suicide Prevention Walk. Hosted by the Santa Barbara Response Network, www.AFSP.org.
For more on the Department of Behavioral Wellness, visit http://countyofsb.org/behavioral-wellness or the county’s Suicide Awareness and Prevention webpage http://countyofsb.org/behavioral-wellness/suicide-prevention.sbc.
For more on the Glendon Association and suicide prevention, visit https://www.glendon.org/.
The Behavioral Wellness toll free Crisis Response and Services Access Line is available 24/7 at 888-868-1649. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.