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Tuolumne Public Health Spotlights Suicide Prevention Month

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Sonora, CA – September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Tuolumne Public Health released its Newsletter stating, “Suicide is complicated and tragic, but it is often preventable. Knowing the warning signs for suicide and how to get help can help save lives.” Their public health request is for individuals to pay attention to peers, family members, or anyone in the community who may seem isolated –connecting with them may save their life. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is their recommended source of information about mental health.

Tuolumne County Public Health spotlighted the County’s 2005-2022 Suicide Data Report. As discussed in an April Mother Lode Views posted here, the report has some concerning statistics.

This news story includes data about suicide and self-harm. We invite everyone to read with caution. Trauma-informed tips and techniques for self-care can be found at http://ph.lacounty.gov 

The report uses information reported to the Cal-IVRS system which contains death certificate information for all deaths that occur in Tuolumne County as well as all Tuolumne County residents who died in other California counties. Death certificates were manually coded to identify suicides and methods of suicide.

Our last report for 2017 and 2018 is here.
In 2019 there were 11 Tuolumne Residents and five non-county residents who died of suicide in Tuolumne County. For that year it was noted that the 43% of suicide deaths in the 45-64 year old range was much higher than the state rate of 35% for that year and age range.
In 2020 there were 15 Tuolumne Residents and one non-county resident suicide
In 2021 there were eight Tuolumne Residents and three non-county resident suicides
In 2022 there were 17 Tuolumne Residents and two non-county resident suicides, the most recent information released.

Firearms are used in 54% of suicides in Tuolumne County which is significantly higher than the state average of 35%. The report supports the promotion of the safe storage of firearms, medications, and other potentially dangerous household products to reduce the risk of suicide by separating at-risk individuals from easy access to lethal means. Suicide in Tuolumne County is the leading cause of death for youth ages 10-19 years old and 29% of deaths for ages 15-19 years. Similar to state trends, 25 to 65-year-olds account for 65% of suicide deaths in Tuolumne County. The full report is here.

Other Spotlights:
The Public Health Newsletter notes September is World Alzheimer’s Month and that September has also been National Recovery Month since 1989. Tuolumne Public Health states, “Recovery is individualized and has many pathways. Pathways may include clinical, non-clinical, and self-management pathways. Often, people utilize multiple paths. What works for one person may not work for another. It is important to support a person in or seeking recovery as they make their own decisions about which pathway is right for them.” For more information and resources to find a pathway to recovery, Public Health recommends the Substance Aubse and Mental Health Services Administration/SAMHSA website.

Outreach Events

Public health will be participating in community outreach events locally including:

Columbia College’s Health & Wellness Fair for students September 13.

A Life Hope Clinic September 16 and 17, registration starts at 7 a.m. off Forest Road in Sonora as detailed here.

The upcoming Hope and Honor Suicide Prevention Walk on September 16 at Courthouse Park. The event is designed to raise awareness, honor those lost, and help those experiencing thoughts of suicide.

ICES Children’s Fair September 23 from 10 am to 2 pm at Tuolumne Memorial Park.

Seasonal Illnesses
With the upcoming fall season, Public Health states “it’s important to be aware of seasonal illnesses and prevent them!”

FREE Flu Vaccine Clinic on October 11, 2023, at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds (Manzanita building) and beginning October 3, 2023, Tuolumne Public Health will begin offering Flu Vaccine appointments on Tuesdays. Call (209) 533-7401 for more details.

Prevent the Flu and other seasonal illnesses with these tips from Public Health:
Get vaccinated. Vaccinations, like the Flu and COVID-19 vaccines, can help prevent serious complications from illnesses.
Avoid close contact with those who are sick. Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your mouth and nose when sick. Wash your hands often. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces around you.
For more tips and information, visit the CDC.

More Contact Information

Center for a Non-Violent Community 24/7 Violence Hotline (209) 533-3401 Website

Tuolumne County Suicide Prevention 24/7 Hotline 209-533-7000 or (800) 630-1130

Tuolumne County Crisis Intervention Program 105 Hospital Rd. Sonora, CA Walk-in 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Website: https://www.tuolumnecounty.ca.gov/220/Behavioral-Health

Support Group for Survivors of Suicide Loss 2nd Tuesday of each month 209-559-0332 or 209-532-1328
Survivors of Suicide Loss Bereavement Counseling 209-559-0840 or 209-247-7406 or 209-559-0332

Community Trainings and Coalitions

For more information on the Yes Partnership, click here.

Lantern of Light, Faith-based suicide prevention Website

safeTALK & ASIST Trainings Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training & alertness skills for community members 209-533-1397 X226

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