Santa Barbara County is holding several virtual events during September, which is National Suicide Prevention Month.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 10 through 34, and COVID-19 has significantly increased the numbers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that one in four adults between the ages of 18 through 24 say they’ve considered suicide in the past month because of the isolation, economic impact and job loss as a result of the pandemic. In a CDC survey of more than 5,000 young adults, more than 40% said they had experienced a mental health or behavioral health condition because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To raise awareness and advocate for suicide prevention, the county has held three virtual events already, including a vigil and a panel discussion.
In addition, the county is holding a webinar with Dr. Lisa Firestone called “Talking about Suicide: What you need to know to save a life” on Sept. 8 and a Suicide Prevention Summit on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Alma Rosa Winery is hosting “Peace of Mind: 10,000 Steps in the Right” from Thursday to Oct. 10 to benefit the Mental Wellness Center.
There will be ongoing counseling by the Pacific Pride Foundation with PROUD Youth Groups and PROUD Older Adult Group.
Finally, on Sept. 27, the Santa Barbara Response Network is hosting an Out of the Darkness Virtual Suicide Prevention Walk.
For more information about each event, visit http://countyofsb.org/behavioral-wellness/suicide-prevention.sbc.
The Santa Barbara County Department of Behavioral Wellness has a toll-free Crisis Response and Services Access Line. It is available 24/7 at 888-868-1649.
And the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. For more information, go to https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org.