Sonora, CA — The number of confirmed suicides in Tuolumne County increased to 18 last year, compared to 14 in 2017.
The statistics were noted during a presentation in which the board of supervisors formally declared September 8-14 as Suicide Prevention Week. When detailing the stats, Behavioral Health Director Michael Wilson noted that his department administered 805 crisis services last year to a total of 547 clients.
Bob White, the Director of ATCAA’s Yes Partnership and Prevention Programs, noted that the National Council for Behavioral Health suggests that at any given time, 5-percent of the general population will have thoughts of suicide. In Tuolumne County that equates to 2,172 people.
Speaking about the impact of her mother’s suicide, Serena Orman Oak, a member of ATCAA’s suicide prevention committee, spoke about the impacts of suicide, and also mentioned an upcoming Hope and Honor Walk on September 21. It is designed to raise awareness, honors those lost, and help those experiencing thoughts of suicide.
Community member Carol Doud expressed concerns to the supervisors that simply passing a resolution is “a lot of talk but no action,” and called it a public health and community crisis. She argued that her count is 21 suicides from the county last year because some died out of county so that their organs could be donated. She noted that for the first time since 2007, there was a juvenile suicide in the county, occurring within the past couple of months.
The supervisors thanked the presenters for their presentations and approved the motion, 5-0, to declare the upcoming week as Suicide Prevention Week.
For more information on the Yes Partnership, click here.
For information about Behavioral Health services, and the 24/7 crisis telephone line, click here.
Written by BJ Hansen. See full story on MyMotherlode here.