In recognition of Suicide Prevention Month, the city of Santa Clarita announced Tuesday that it would be partnering with a local nonprofit to spread awareness regarding mental health and community resources for those in need of help.
Officials from the local nonprofit, Be the Difference SCV, said following the announcement of their partnership with City Hall that they would work to ensure residents are more educated about government mental health resources at the local, state and federal levels.
“Last year, actually the suicides doubled in Santa Clarita,” said Larry Schallert, chair of the SCV Suicide Prevention, Postvention and Wellness Committee, the group that helped create Be the Difference SCV. “So, we do really have a problem but we’ve sort of bent the curve a little bit this year with all the efforts from this committee.”
The collaboration is designed, according to city officials, to promote the city’s mental health website and Be the Difference’s website. It also follows the Department of Health and Human Services activating its new 9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline — a free and confidential phone number designed to help support people in distress and provide prevention and crisis resources.
“In 2020, the United States had one death by suicide every 11 minutes. Currently, suicide is the leading cause of death for people ages 10-34 years old,” city officials said in their statement. “Creating platforms that are a safe haven for our residents during times of need is essential to maintaining and providing the best quality of life in Santa Clarita.
“Be the Difference SCV strives to spread awareness through education and help break the stigma that is more than often associated with mental illness,” they added.
The city also plans to work together with the Suicide Prevention, Postvention and Wellness Committee to create new signage that will be displayed at select railroad crossings in Santa Clarita.
“Each of these signs will display the new 24/7 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline phone number, the city’s mental health resources website and a QR code that will directly link to resources from Be the Difference SCV.”
For more information about any of the mental health resources, visit santa-clarita.com/MentalHealth or bethedifferencescv.org.