The number of people who commit suicide in the San Diego region has leveled off following a disturbing jump earlier this decade, according to a report released Wednesday.
The San Diego County Suicide Prevention Council said 431 people took their lives last year, compared to 427 in 2015.
County authorities called attention to the suicide issue when the numbers began climbing a few years ago. In 2011, 392 people killed themselves, a number that grew to 413 the next year and 441 the year after that. In 2014, the number dropped to 420.
“People are learning about the warning signs of suicide and reaching out for help,” said Supervisor Greg Cox. “We hope we can turn the tide and that the number of suicides begins to drop until we have no suicides in San Diego County.”
Among the data in the report:
- Emergency department discharges due to self-inflicted injury were 3,348 in 2015, the most recent year available, compared to 3,263 the year before.
- Visits to the county’s suicide prevention website “It’s Up to Us” totaled over 246,000 last year, compared to almost 210,700 in 2015.
- More than 1,900 people received suicide prevention training last year, compared to more than 2,700 the year before.
- And the number of 9th- and 11th-grade students who said they seriously considered suicide was 14.5 percent in 2016, compared to 17.5 percent in 2014.
The student information is collected every other year.
The county has three ongoing suicide prevention efforts, including the It’s Up to Us campaign at up2sd.org; Question, Persuade and Refer trainings; and a confidential counseling and referral hotline for people who feel overwhelmed or are experiencing a mental health crisis, at (888) 724-7240.
— City News Service