Suicide: A Community Health Problem


The Humboldt County Coroner at a 2015 suicide. [Photo by Oliver Cory]

We wrote recently about the record number of suicides in Humboldt County last year. We broke down the numbers and talked about the issues. Today the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services issued a press release detailing what they are doing to raise awareness of suicide (see below.) Read it and see if there aren’t some ways that you might be interested in joining the movement.

The Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) is partnering with community groups to host events and trainings during National Suicide Prevention Month.

The purpose of the month’s events is to call attention to suicide as a community health problem, and that through community efforts we can all work to prevent it.

DHHS’s Suicide Prevention program has joined the statewide “Know the Signs” campaign. The goals of the movement are to let people know what the warning signs of suicide are, educate people on how to offer help to someone with thoughts of suicide, and connect people with local resources.

Warning signs include sudden mood changes, withdrawal or giving away possessions. They may also include an increase or decrease in sleep or appetite. A person thinking about suicide may also use more drugs or alcohol. Signs differ for each person, but most people who die by suicide communicate their intentions in some way.

Throughout September, community members can get “Know the Signs” coffee cup sleeves, drink coasters and brochures and posters in English and Spanish at businesses throughout the community.

If you are concerned for yourself or someone else, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Businesses interested in having free “Know the Signs” materials available for customers can call 707-268-2132.

A calendar of events for Suicide Prevention Month and a list of suicide prevention resources are available at


  • Laytonville Rock


  • I think we do need to discuss these issues. Thank you for the discussion, Kym.

  • the trouble with “knowing the signs” is that there may be many many many depressive episodes over many YEARS time ..eventually friends/family become complacent,thinking “oh,he’s done this before and hasnt died yet”…each time people observing these “signs”become more and more likely to accuse/observe what looks to the OUTSIDE(observer) like a “cry wolf” mindset,that it looks less likely that the depressive person will follow through,while INSIDE the depression is gradually going in exactly the OPPOSITE direction, becoming more and MORE LIKELY that the next episode might be the one to finally lead to a “successful” suicide .

  • Henchman Of Justice

    HOJ had some moments with Andy yesterday and discussed these coasters at length with David, PJ, Carlos, Lisa, another gal whose name is forgotten (bad on HOJ for not remembering).

    We discussed the pros and cons:

    Pros = awareness, no doubt. Link website

    Cons = awarenes is a little step, not results benefitting necessarily the victim when DHHS pushes pharma drugs,

    spends how much money overall statewide to supposedly raise awareness on coasters and other parafernalia (? spelling?)


    the taxes should go to actual service of the victim (not ads to people who mostly don’t give a rats ass one iota),

    but when people turn a blind eye, don’t really care cuz it is not someone they know,

    or you are at a pub drinking alcohol where coaster reading efficacy is questionable,

    AND where victims have many individual needs,

    but that drug pushing pharma is only exacerbating the problem when on an individual victim basis,

    drugs are causing various and different reactions……

    humans are guinea pigs for pharma……..

    like the FDA telling companies that they can market their product, but if they can’t PROVE THE EFFICACY OR SAFETY within 5 years, the company must change the product for market or cease marketing the product…….

    NOW, it is totally bullshit to allow a company “to profit during its research trials” WHEN FUCKING TEST LAB RATS and some willing human specimens take up that guinea pig process PRIOR TO the product going to market (Ya see, the company avoids spending its own goddamned money and uses the consumer to fund the research trials that will fail…….talk about yet another sham in Americanized medicine practices, services, etc….. where poisoning people is revictimization.

    And voters let their gubbamint get away with this type of rubbish………sigh.

  • See ‘black box warnings’ for the only ‘help’ available to those in emotional distress. ADs are known to *cause* suicidal behavior.

    Counseling would be helpful, but not funded by TPTB…support from family/friends/community is what is needed, plus an actual safety net for help with physical obstacles to well being.

    ADs don’t fix any mythological ‘chemical imbalance’…prominent shrinks are finally admitting that the ‘chemical imbalance’ is only a metaphor.

    Placebo is a powerful thing before y’all jump on here and say how much pharma has ‘helped’ you.

    Big pharma and corporations *fund* ‘peer reviewed’ studies.

    Sleep, good nutrition, community, meaningful work, and exercise are proven to help with ‘mood disorders’ and feelings of despair.

    Forced hospitalizations/medication actually exacerbate suicide numbers (after release).

    Follow the money, be critical of common truths out there in media land.

  • Here is a link to an article regarding the use of text messaging for victims of assault and domestic violence to seek help in a forum where people are comfortable communicating. Maybe a program like this could be also used for suicide prevention. It is just another way of seeking help.

  • Depression is rampant in Socialized countries.
    When Liberty is smothered, depression is a natural outcome.

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