For a long time, Amador County has had a culture of silence around suicide. There’s a growing coalition of residents trying to break it, in hopes of convincing friends, family and neighbors to get help. Here are some of the people who are speaking up.
Nexus Youth and Family Services
“It is not that you want to die, you just want the pain to end. Don’t do it. Life always gets better.”
Parent to a child with mental illness
“[Suicide] can affect anyone. Every class, everyone can and will be affected. Get help, ask for help. Share stories and talk about it.”
Marriage and Family Therapist
“[Suicide] is often a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”
Amador County Public Schools
“Anyone is capable and everyone feels lost at one time or another. There is no coming back [from suicide] and it takes courage to live and get help but living is worth it.”
Amador Tuolumne Community Action Agency
“Be willing to be alert and aware that a friend, neighbor, colleague could be having thoughts of suicide. They need someone to listen non-judgmentally about their thoughts of death. Don’t be afraid about their thoughts of death. Don’t be afraid to ask someone about suicide. Your attention to them may be all they need.”
Victory Village Veterans Center
“Reach out to those who are isolating themselves. Be a friend!”
If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Additional resources for those in Amador County and beyond, including programs for youth, seniors, veterans and Native Americans, can be found here.
This project is funded by a USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism grant.