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Group Works To Prevent Suicides In S.D. County

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Aired 10/19/09

More than 350 people in San Diego County committed suicide last year. Now a local group is stepping up efforts to prevent more people from taking their own lives.

— More than 350 people in San Diego County committed suicide last year. Now a local group is stepping up efforts to prevent more people from taking their own lives.

The San Diego chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention held a benefit walk at Mission Bay this weekend. Board member Jessica Vanderstad says more than 400 people participated. She says the number of suicides in the county has risen over the past year. She says the poor economy likely plays a part in the increase but isn’t the primary cause.

“Mental illness itself is a huge factor and it’s these events like the current economy that increase pressure on mental illness and basically result in people taking their own lives,” she says.

Vanderstad says increased awareness of suicide as well as research into what leads to it and how it can be prevented are needed. She says UCSD is currently doing a case study on how to prevent suicide in the medical profession.

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