Friday, September 2, 2011
On average, suicide claims the life of one San Diegan every day of the year. County health officials are urging people to learn some of the warning signs.
SAN DIEGO San Diego County officials want to make suicide prevention a public health priority. Last year, 372 San Diegans took their own lives.
On average, there is about one suicide a day in San Diego. That rate hasn't changed in years.
County health officials say preventing suicide is up to all of us. That's why they're encouraging people to become familiar with some of the warning signs.
Karen Ventimiglia lost her father to suicide more than 20 years ago.
"He started isolating himself; he would not come to family functions," Ventimiglia remembered. "He would not return phone calls, even though he was at home. He also was very depressed, but I didn't know that."
Over the next week, San Diego County will launch dozens of trainings to teach people to recognize some of the warnings signs of suicide. People will also learn how to offer help.
The County also offers a 24-hour, toll-free crisis line that's staffed by mental health professionals. The service offers brief counseling and referrals to care at: (800) 479-3339.