Carpinteria is indisputably a caring community. We put this value into action.

Although suicide often can be an uncomfortable topic, we have made strides in reducing the stigma by continuing the conversation. We all have a role in keeping Carpinteria caring and mentally healthy.

Did you know that there are simple things we can do every day? These are things like smiling at others, listening deeply, letting people know that you care about them and that they matter. These are all preventative steps each one of us can take.

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. This is a time for all of us to put extra emphasis on raising awareness and connecting people who are experiencing suicidal thinking to treatment services. It’s a time to ensure that we have access to the resources we need to discuss suicide prevention and for reaching out to those in our community who have been affected by suicide.     

 

Are you aware of the warning signs of a person that may be experiencing suicidal thinking? These include increased use of alcohol or drugs; looking for a way to end their lives, such as searching online for methods; withdrawing from activities; isolating from family and friends; sleeping too much or too little; visiting or calling people to say goodbye; giving away prized possessions; aggression; fatigue; talking about killing themselves; feeling hopeless; having no reason to live; being a burden to others; feeling trapped or in unbearable pain; and moods such as depression, anxiety, loss of interest, irritability, humiliation/shame, agitation/anger or relief/sudden improvement. Suicide affects every demographic group, age and socio-economic class, however, some groups such as LGBTQ youth are especially at-risk.

How can you connect people to treatment services? If someone you know is in immediate crisis, call 911. To connect them with local services, call the Behavioral Wellness Access Line at (888) 868-1649. Resources are available in Carpinteria. With help comes hope.

How can you access resources needed to discuss suicide prevention? HopeNet of Carpinteria distributes wallet-sized cards, in Spanish and English, around town. We are available to speak to your group upon request: contact hopenetofcarp@gmail.com. HopeNet believes our community shares its vision of improving the mental wellness of our residents, lessening the number of attempted and completed suicides. and creating a stronger safety net.

Do you know someone who has been affected by suicide? Invite them to these upcoming events. The “Out of the Darkness” Walk, sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, will take place on Sunday, Sept. 8 (check-in begins at 7:45 a.m., walk is at 9 a.m.) at Leadbetter Beach in Santa Barbara. The annual Candlelight Vigil, sponsored by HopeNet, will be held Tuesday, Sept. 10, (World Suicide Prevention Day) at 7 p.m. at the Seal Fountain here in Carpinteria. This is a beautiful and healing event. Let’s keep actively caring—together we can prevent suicide.

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