Community Partners are ‘Working Together to Prevent Suicide,’ Says DHHS

This is a press release from the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services:

This year’s Suicide Prevention Month theme is “Working Together to Prevent Suicide.” The Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) is working with community and tribal partners to host events and offer trainings that teach participants how to recognize suicidal thoughts and behaviors, and refer those at risk to professional resources.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in Humboldt County will hold the third annual Out of the Darkness Walk at the Arcata Plaza on Sept. 9. Registration starts at 9 a.m., and the walk begins at 10.

This month’s trainings include a Question-Persuade-Refer open house for those interested in teaching others how to identify the signs of suicide as well as an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training that focuses on ways to start conversations with those thinking of suicide.

Dana Murguia, senior program manager for the Healthy Communities Division of DHHS’s Public Health Branch, said suicide is a community health issue and should be talked about openly. “Talk about the topic of suicide like you would any other health condition,” she said. “Discussing any other health problem isn’t shameful. Suicide should be treated with the same consideration.“

Know the Signs, a statewide suicide prevention campaign, offers tools and resources to start the conversation. Most people who are considering suicide signal their intentions in some way. Warning signs can include sudden mood changes, withdrawal or giving away possessions. An increase or decrease in sleep, appetite or drug and alcohol use may also indicate someone is thinking about suicide.

“We recognize that not everyone thinking about suicide shows obvious signs,” Murguia said. “For that reason, it is important to be proactive about initiating these conversations. Even though it might be uncomfortable, it is important to discuss it with your loved ones and colleagues in a direct way by asking, ‘Are you considering suicide?’ Asking the question provides an opportunity to have a real conversation.”

Check in with people around you, and let them know help is available. Become familiar with resources to offer to the person you are concerned about.

To sign up for a training, go to and search for “Humboldt County.” For a list of resources including the Know the Signs campaign, visit

If you are concerned for yourself or someone else, contact the 24-hour Mental Health Crisis Line at 707-445-7715 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

On Tuesday, Aug. 28, members of the Humboldt County Suicide Prevention Network gave a presentation to the Board of Supervisors about local efforts to prevent suicide through education, intervention and stigma reduction. From left to right, back row: Lara Weiss, Nicole Chappelle, Dana Murguia, Ron Largusa, Eric Ruiz and Travis Vale. Middle row: Michael Weiss, Karen Baker, Megan Montgomery, Anna Owings-Heidrick, Ronny Davis and Rob England. Front Row: Heather Freitas, Kris Huschle, Kristen Smith, Wendy Rinkel and Alissa Leigh.



  • Just curious as to how pro-choice fits in with all this. Not saying it’s not a worthwhile campaign

  • and why is it important to stop this ? so they can get better and get back to work paying taxes and getting nowhere ? seriously or is it so you dont have to feel badly that someone was treated in such a manor that they said f it , not worth it and you knew or loved them that to me seems just as selfish as someone ending it, maybe even more so .

    • Yeeeahhh more humans!

      • yeah like the VA. says dont kill yourself and prove we cant do our jobs just keep living , dig deep. we only jerk you around endlessly giving you pills then taking them away , tellibg you to get help but making it almost impossible to get it. all the while touting how much they care yet secretly never mentioning that they recive millions from big pharm for their endlese supply of trial subjects with luttle or no backlash shoulda mistake be made. oh and yeah lets not mention if you do die there is that much more in the budget for everyone else since they are required to pay benfits till you die. there really is no reason for them to provide life extending services nor quality of life either since the soo er yoy die the cheaper it is for them. and the less quality of life you jave the sooner you just might suckstart that shotty.

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