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At least 23 dead in tornado-spawning storms sweeping central US, new report finds OR workforce grows, but gaps should be addressed; AM radio in every car? The debate hits Missouri; Proposal would make MI State Capitol a 'gun-free zone.'

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President Biden delivers a Memorial Day address, former president Trump's hush money trial is poised for jury deliberations, and the Justice Department warns of threats to election officials.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

National Suicide Prevention Month: CA Group Works to Raise Awareness

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Tuesday, September 12, 2023   

This is National Suicide Prevention Week, part of National Suicide Prevention Month, a time to raise awareness of the problem, and ways to prevent it. The California Parent and Youth Helpline reports a dramatic increase in calls about suicide - making up about 60% of the calls, texts and live chats received since May of last year.

Dr. Lisa Pion-Berlin, president and CEO of Parents Anonymous Inc., runs the helpline.

"In 2022, we had the highest rate of suicide ever, 49,449 deaths," she said. "So, that doesn't include the fact that 12 million adults in 2021 thought about suicide. And 3.5 million people made a plan, and 1.7 million attempted it."

She added that suicide deaths increased in 2021 and 2022, whereas they had been going down in prior years. Statistics show that 20% of children and adults in America suffer from some kind of serious mental health condition. Trained counselors are online at 'CAParentYouthHelpline.org'.

Pion-Berlin added it is crucial to take people seriously if they mention suicidal thoughts.

"It is very important if anybody mentions any thoughts they have - or a plan, or any concerns they have about suicide - that you take them seriously," she implored. "Don't brush them off."

Data show that youth of color living in rural areas are the fastest-growing category of people attempting suicide, and completing those attempts.

Disclosure: AARP California contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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