|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 2, 2014
Joy Alexiou 408-885-4164 or 408-595-2936 (c)
Amy Cornell 408-792-5155 or (408) 834-6767 (c)
Give Up? Not on your life.
Prevent Suicides - Know the Number to Call for Help
Santa Clara County, CA. When a person calls 1-855-278-4204 they reach a skilled and trained crisis counselor at the Suicide and Crisis Hotline. To raise awareness about this important service, 1-855-278-4204 will be advertised on 16 Valley Transportation Authority buses in Santa Clara County, in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Chinese.
“More people die from suicide than from homicide in Santa Clara County,” commented Nancy Pena, Director of the Santa Clara County Mental Health Department. “While every death is tragic, we know when it comes to suicide, these deaths are preventable.”
In 2013 there were 149 suicides in Santa Clara County. In contrast, there were 56 homicides in Santa Clara County in the same year. The people who died from suicide came from every city in our county, all income levels, and a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The ages of people who died from suicide ranged from 15 years old to 93 years old.
“No matter what problems a person is dealing with, Hotline crisis counselors want to help them find a reason to keep living,” said Vic Ojakian, Co-Chair, Santa Clara County Suicide Prevention Oversight Committee. “Things can change and no one has to suffer in silence. This is a great resource and people need to know about it.”
If a person feels that they are in a crisis, whether or not they are thinking about killing themselves, they can call 1-855-278-4204 and reach a crisis counselor. All calls are confidential, and this free service is available 24/7. People have called for help with substance abuse, economic worries, relationship and family problems, sexual orientation, illness, getting over abuse, depression, mental and physical illness, and even loneliness.
“I remain eternally grateful for the professional and timely intervention provided by the Suicide and Crisis Hotline when they coordinated with the national hotline and saved my precious daughter’s life,” said Dr. Kenneth Smith. “Thank you, God, for blessing our family with these devoted, caring people.”
The prevention campaign is paid by the voter approved Prop 63, Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funds and is a project of the Suicide Prevention Program of the Mental Health Department. Other Suicide Prevention Program activities include a Speaker’s Bureau of suicide attempt survivors and/or family members who address the stigma associated with suicides and talk about prevention services, online Question - Persuade - Refer
trainings for anyone over 18 years olds who works/lives in Santa Clara County, safeTalk
classes for residents as young as 15 years old on how to be a suicide alert helper, as well as print, radio and other advertising in both Spanish and Vietnamese media outlets.
|What: Join us to raise awareness of the Suicide & Crisis Hotline service.|
Information about the Hotline number will be featured on VTA buses.
When: April 2, 2014, 10:00 am
Where: Diridon Station, VTA Bus Stop, 54 Cahill Street, San Jose, CA
Why: To raise awareness of the Hotline Number 1-855-278-4204 so that suicides can be prevented.
Who: Dr. Nancy Pena, Director, SCC Mental Health Department
Vic Ojakian, Co-Chair, SCC Suicide Prevention Oversight Committee
Dr. Kenneth Smith (retired), Volunteer with the Suicide Prevention Program’s Speakers Bureau made up of suicide attempt survivors and/or family members
Spanish and Vietnamese spokespersons will be available.