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Group Puts Suicide Prevention On Front Burner In San Diego

The San Diego Suicide Prevention Council holds its annual meeting Tuesday as it seeks to heighten awareness about a vexing problem.

— The San Diego Suicide Prevention Council, a county group aimed at preventing suicides, holds its annual meeting Tuesday and has set a goal of figuring out how to bring the suicide rate in San Diego County to zero.

The group educates people about some of the warning signs of suicidal behavior. It also works to promote responsible reporting on suicides, and spreads the word about where people can go to get help.

Council Co-Chair Carol Skiljan believes talking is the first step to prevention.

"So often you hear somebody's that's survived a suicide say, 'all I wanted was for somebody to ask me how I was today,'" Skiljan said. "That's how simple the first step can be. So, I think that's something that all of us should keep in mind."

90 percent of people who commit suicide had a diagnosable mental illness. Many had untreated depression. 392 people in San Diego County committed suicide in 2011.

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