San Diego promotes crisis line in hopes of reducing suicide rate - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

San Diego promotes crisis line in hopes of reducing suicide rate

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San Diego promotes crisis line in hopes of reducing suicide rate San Diego promotes crisis line in hopes of reducing suicide rate

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — For 24 hours a day, seven days a week, psychologists and mental health counselors are answering the phones at the County of San Diego’s Access and Crisis Line.

Many of the calls are from people who are thinking about suicide.

Suicide rates are higher in San Diego County than in other areas of California, with 15 suicides occurring among every 100,000 residents.

That number compares to 10 suicides per 100,000 residents when the rates are considered statewide. 

The reason for that higher number isn't clear.

What's critical is bringing that number down. Dr. Michael Bailey, of Optum Health, the company that manages the crisis line, says callers can be referred to resources to address a range of mental health needs. 

“There are emergency rooms available, there are clinics available, mental health outpatient providers available; all those folks can be gateways in taking care and helping to prevent suicide,” Bailey said. 

He said one myth about suicide is that talking about it increases the possibility that it will occur. Bailey said there’s no clinical evidence to support that.

"They've already thought about it and in fact, being able to talk about it with someone who is willing to listen can be such a relief and can begin that process of being able to get the through that suicidal crisis,’ Bailey said.

Sept. 10 through Sept. 16 is Suicide Prevention Week. If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, you should call the county's Access and Crisis Line at 1 888 724-7240.

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