Sonora, Ca — 70 turned out for today´s Suicide Prevention Community Input Meeting held at the 49er Church in Columbia.
The committee is made up of members of law enforcement, schools, government agencies, churches and service clubs. The goal is to work together collectively and find a way to reduce the number of suicides in Tuolumne County.
“It was real clear that people want to talk about suicide,” says committee chair Shana Monaco. She says this is one of the first steps to put a halt to the problem.
20 suicides were reported last year in Tuolumne County, which annually ranks among the top five counties in the state for the number of suicides per capita.
Committee consultant Patricia Jones spoke at today´s meeting.Places that have high homicide rates, have low suicide rates,” says Jones. On the same token, she says that places that have low homicide rates, traditionally have high suicide rates.If you look at the counties that are really high, they are generally rural areas.” Jones says the locations are predominantly white population, have a high incidence of gun transactions, high amount of child and elder abuse, and above average amount of depression. She says Tuolumne County hits all of these markers.
The next step for the committee is to collectively put together a plan that works to lower the county´s suicide rate.
Written by BJ Hansen