Suicide Prevention and Support
**If you or someone you know are at risk of harming themselves please call 9-1-1, the Access & Crisis Line at 888-724-7240, or call/text the California Coalition for Youth Crisis Line at 800-843-5200. Both crisis lines are available 24 hours / 7 days a week. The Trevor Project offers 24/7 direct connection to a counselor, call: 1-866-488-7386 or text: 678-678**
On September 10, every year, World Suicide Prevention Day provides the opportunity for people, across the globe, to raise awareness of suicide and suicide prevention. Here at the Y, we are committed to supporting suicide prevention efforts. We offer a safe place for those needing resources or seeking support and community.
Reducing the Risk of Suicide
It’s important that we call out that crisis intervention is only ONE part of suicide prevention. We must consider social determinants of health in suicide prevention. Research shows that when needs are not met, including basic needs and belonging needs, there is an increased risk for suicide. However, when these needs are met we see time and time again that the risk for suicide is reduced.
LGBTIQ+ Affirming Spaces
One critical aspect of suicide prevention is creating inclusive and affirming spaces for vulnerable populations. Research from The Trevor Project reveals that LGBTIQ+ youth are less likely to attempt suicide when they have access to such affirming spaces. These spaces provide support, acceptance, and a sense of belonging, all of which contribute significantly to reducing the risk of suicide among this demographic.
For more information, refer to The Trevor Project's article Facts About LGBTQ Youth Suicide.
The Power of Hope
The Hope Research Center at the University of Oklahoma, Tulsa, focuses on understanding the role of hope as a psychological strength, especially for individuals experiencing trauma and adversity. Hope, defined as "the belief that the future will be better and you have the power to make it so," has a profound impact on mental well-being. Cultivating hope can serve as a powerful tool in suicide prevention.
For further insights, visit the Hope Research Center.
Positive Childhood Experiences (PCEs)
A study conducted by Dr. Christina Bethell and her team in 2019 uncovered a significant association between positive childhood experiences (PCEs) and adult mental and relationship health. Even among adults who had experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), the presence and exposure of PCEs was linked to improved mental health outcomes.
YMCA MENTAL AND BEHAVIOR HEALTH SERVICES
Community members may not always have access to trained mental health professionals, and that is why the YMCA of San Diego has made it a priority to offer the community Mental Health First Aid responder training. This training provides community members and adults working with youth with the tools to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Our community members have the power to reduce the risk of suicide by being an active participant in learning. Request a training.
Our clinical teams have extensive experience providing mental health services and online counseling to individuals, couples, families, children, and teens, covering a wide variety of topics. Learn more about our behavioral and mental health services.
Ultimately, suicide prevention is a complex challenge that requires a comprehensive approach. While crisis intervention is essential, addressing social determinants of health, creating affirming spaces, nurturing hope, investing in evidence-based training programs, and using community resources like those offered at The Y, can help save lives.
It's Up to Us - The It’s Up to Us campaign is designed to empower San Diegans to talk openly about mental illness, recognize symptoms, utilize local resources, and seek help.
Know the Signs - Visit this website to learn the warning signs of suicide, find the words to offer help to someone you are concerned about, and reach out to local resources.
Take Action for Mental Health - As part of California’s ongoing mental health movement, the Take Action for Mental Health campaign is designed to help you check in, learn more, and get support for your own mental health or the mental health of someone you care about.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - A national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
ASIST | Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training | Caring Contact - Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is an internationally acclaimed two-day interactive training program in suicide first-aid. ASIST is listed on the National Suicide Prevention Registry of Evidence-Based Programs. The training is designed to empower police officers, EMTs, teachers, school administrators, social workers, counselors, clergy, business managers and a wide variety of community members with the hands-on skills to intervene in the case of suicide.