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    City of West Hollywood Goes Teal for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in September

    The City of West Hollywood recognizes Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in September. As part of raising awareness, during Suicide Awareness Week from Monday, September 11, 2023 through Friday, September 15, 2023, the City will light West Hollywood City Hall and the lanterns along Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood in the color teal.

    Since 2008, September has been recognized as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. It is an occasion to acknowledge those affected by suicide, to raise awareness, and to connect individuals experiencing thoughts of suicide to treatment services. Recognizing September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month provides an opportunity for the City of West Hollywood to memorialize lives lost to suicide and to educate residents and community members on available suicide prevention resources, including the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Moreover, the month is used to shift public perception, erase stigma, spread hope, and share vital information to people affected by suicide. Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or background.

    West Hollywood City Hall goes teal for Suicide Prevention Month – WEHO TIMES

    The City is currently developing an implementation plan for a set of Community Safety & Well-Being (CSWB) strategy priorities. Among these priorities is a focus on mental health and substance use. The City of West Hollywood is committed to responding to the acute mental health challenges community members face by maintaining seamless access to comprehensive service offerings such as support, counseling, psychiatric assessments, and treatment.

    The City is also currently in the process of launching the West Hollywood Care Team, a new behavioral health mobile crisis response program to serve the community. The Care Team is being launched in partnership with Sycamores, a nonprofit social service organization with expertise in providing behavioral health programs and services. This is a first-of-its-kind city/county collaboration to enhance community access to crisis support and services.

    Community members experiencing a behavioral health crisis are encouraged to call 988 to get support from the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. In the Los Angeles region, the 988 call center operator is Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services. Calling 988 connects the community member to a trained counselor who will assess the mental health crisis and provide community resources when appropriate. When a 988 caller needs in-person help, trained mobile crisis response staff are available to support the community member through the City’s collaborative partnership between LA County Department of Mental Health and the Care Team. The West Hollywood community will benefit from the immediate availability of crisis counseling via the 988 Lifeline combined with LA County Department of Mental Health resources and the City’s added capacity to provide in-person service and care when needed.

    According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide deeply affects everyone regardless of demographics. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among children aged 10 to 14, and the third leading cause of death among people aged 15 to 24. Despite more women attempting suicide compared to men, men are four times more likely to die by suicide and make up 79% of all suicide deaths. The highest rates of suicide in the U.S. are among American Indian/Alaskan Native people followed by non-Hispanic White people. LGBTQ+ youth are nearly four times more likely to attempt suicide compared to heterosexual youth. Also, transgender adults are almost nine times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population. In 2021, 1.7 million adults attempted suicide and 48,183 people died as a result. Of those who died, it is estimated that more than 90% of them dealt with symptoms of a mental health condition. As this is such a critical and pervasive issue throughout the entire United States, it is crucial for the City of West Hollywood to continue its work in addressing and preventing suicide.

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