For Immediate Release: August, 28 2020
VENTURA, Calif. – During September’s National Suicide Prevention Month, Vista del Mar Hospital is presenting a countywide initiative to provide awareness and ultimately save lives.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide rates have been rising in nearly every state. In California 4,491 died by suicide in 2018, including 94 people in Ventura County alone. This reflects a total of 84,137 years of potential life lost before age 65. On a national level, suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth ages 10 to 24.
“The effects of the Coronavirus pandemic have been far-reaching and fatal. In addition to the physical health concerns, there are emotional, mental, and behavioral health strains,” said Jenifer Nyhuis, Vista del Mar’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are constantly reminded of these challenges, such as job loss, increased depression related to isolation, increased anxiety due to uncertainty and fear, economic challenges, food insecurity, child care needs and school challenges, and a decrease in common coping outlets (gyms/churches/spas/parks/social gatherings). I am confident that nearly every person’s mental health has been brought into question, if only momentarily. The pandemic has only further exacerbated the suicide crisis.” Nyhuis adds that it is time to come together to collaborate as a community to create lasting change.
As such, Vista del Mar Hospital is collaborating with the Jason Foundation and community partners to provide complimentary suicide prevention training online via Zoom. The one-hour training will include facts and figures about this silent epidemic, compelling survey results, warning signs such as out-of-character behavior, risk factors for suicidal ideation, resources, and the social media campaign #IWONTBESILENT. To date, community partners include the City of Ventura, Coalition for Family Harmony, NAMI Ventura County, Mission FISH, Genesis Programs, Inc., News Talk 1590 KVTA, QPR For Suicide Prevention, Ventura Downtown Lion’s Club, Ventura County Behavioral Health, Ventura County CIT, Women of The Moose, and more. Vista del Mar has three scheduled trainings open to the public, as well as trainings by appointment.
“During this unprecedented time of uncertainty, suicide prevention is more important than ever. We encourage the community to become trained in asking the difficult questions surrounding thoughts of suicide. Recognizing signs of anxiety and depression, as well as learning how to ask the difficult questions, could save the life of your loved one, neighbor or colleague,” said Kiran Sahota, Sr. Behavioral Health Manager with Ventura County Behavioral Health.
Mark Stadler, Program Administrator with the Ventura County Crisis Intervention Team believes suicide prevention is everyone’s business. “Let’s not be silent on this issue and bring it into the light where everyone is comfortable to seek help.”
For more information, visit Vista del Mar’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/VistadelMarHospital) or www.vistadelmarhospital.com for a list of scheduled trainings. To access online trainings at your convenience, visit https://learn.jasonfoundation.com/courses/.
About Vista del Mar Hospital:
Vista del Mar Hospital, which holds The Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval for Hospital Accreditation, offers inpatient and outpatient programs for both adolescents and adults. The hospital specializes in providing stabilization and treatment of mental illness and dual diagnosis for patients with mental illness and chemical dependency. In addition, Vista del Mar offers comprehensive outpatient services, including the Adult Partial Hospitalization Program, Adolescent/Adult Intensive Outpatient Program and the Adolescent Vista Day Program (partial hospitalization) to treat adolescence while maintaining academic responsibilities. The hospital also serves the military community with evidence-based therapies for active-duty military, veterans and their families. Vista del Mar Hospital is located in Ventura, California on 16 acres with ocean views.