Rural Suicide: One California County’s Fight To Save Lives

A rural pocket of Northern California is seeing some of the highest rates of suicide in the state. We’re exploring the mental health crisis in Amador County, and what’s being done to solve it.

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CapRadio health care reporter Sammy Caiola is spending six months exploring the high rate of suicide in Amador County and how residents are trying to tackle it.

Like neighboring Calaveras and Mariposa counties — and other rural places throughout Northern California — residents here are at greater risk for suicide than their urban peers. Her project will delve into why people take their own lives, and what solutions might help.

Through personal stories from people directly affected and conversations with those working on prevention, she discovers why those experiencing depression, anxiety, addiction, isolation and other challenges associated with rural living often suffer in silence.

This project is funded by a USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism grant.

Suicide Prevention Resources

Suicide is difficult to talk about, but there is help. If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, please contact one of the organizations below.

Amador Area

California Resources

  • WellSpace Health Suicide Prevention
    • WellSpace 24-Hour Suicide Prevention Crisis Line: 916-368 3111 or 1-800-273-8255
    • WellSpace 24-Hour Maternal Support Line: 916-681-2907
    • WellSpace Crisis Text Line: Text the word HOPE to 916-668-iCAN (4226)
  • Friends for Survival: 916-392-0664 (for those who’ve lost a loved one to suicide)

National Resources

For Youth, Seniors and Veterans

Fact Sheets

Helping Someone In Suicidal Crisis
Grieving A Loss By Suicide
African American Suicide Fact Sheet
Caucasian American Suicide Fact Sheet
LGBT Youth Suicide Fact Sheet
Youth Suicide Fact Sheet

Vanessa S. Nelson / Capital Public Radio

A Problem, A Movement: What We’re Learning About Suicide In Amador County

July 17, 2018 | Sammy Caiola

Amador County has the third highest suicide rate in the state, and CapRadio wants to find out why. Here’s what we’ve learned so far.

Stuart Rankin / Flickr

Reading List: Suicide In Rural America

June 22, 2018

CapRadio health care reporter Sammy Caiola has embarked on a six-month project to explore the high rates of suicide in Northern California’s rural communities. Here's a look at what she's reading on the topic.