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Reaching out

Suicide Prevention Awareness: Learn About the Warning Signs and Local Resources

By: El Dorado County Health & Human Services

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. During the month of September, the El Dorado County (EDC) Behavioral Health Division encourages the community to “know the signs, find the words, and reach out” to prevent suicide, as well as learn about local suicide prevention resources.

“Suicide is a difficult subject to discuss,” says EDC Behavioral Health Director, Nicole Ebrahimi-Nuyken, LMFT. “It’s a topic riddled with taboo and shame, and is often avoided in conversation. Individuals can experience feelings of powerlessness and uncertainty about their path forward toward effective intervention. Although it’s uncomfortable to talk about suicide, these conversations need to happen so that people can be helped. Suicide is preventable.”

Stephanie Carlson currently serves as the Chair of El Dorado County’s Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan Committee. According to Carlson, “recognizing the warning signs of suicide and starting the conversation with someone who may be thinking about suicide may save a life.” El Dorado County participates in the “Know the Signs” campaign, an effort funded by counties through the voter-approved Mental Health Services Act (Prop. 63). The campaign outlines the steps to take when talking with someone who may be thinking about suicide and resources at the Know the Signs website, suicideispreventable.org:

Know the Signs.
Most people who are considering suicide show some warning signs or signals of their intentions. Learn to recognize these warning signs and how to respond to them by visiting the Know the Signs website (suicideispreventable.org).

Find the Words.
If you are concerned about someone, ask them directly if they are thinking about suicide. This can be difficult to do, but being direct provides an opportunity for them to open up and talk about their distress and will not suggest the idea to them if they aren’t already thinking about it. The “Find the Words” section of the Know the Signs website (suicideispreventable.org) suggests ways to start the conversation.

Reach Out.
You are not alone in this. Before having the conversation, become familiar with resources to offer the person you’re concerned about. Visit the “Reach Out” section of the Know the Signs website (suicideispreventable.org) to identify where you can find help for your friend or loved one.

“I’m hopeful that everyone in the community learns these signs and knows what to do if someone is in distress,” says Carlson. “By raising awareness and educating ourselves and others, we can help prevent suicide. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger to themselves or others don’t hesitate to call 911.”

Additional suicide prevention resources include:
-National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
-Crisis Text Line:  Text “Hello” to 741741
-Trevor Project LGBTQ Youth: 1-866-488-7386
-Placerville Crisis Line: 530-622-3345
-South Lake Tahoe Crisis Line: 530-644-2219


For general information about El Dorado County Behavioral Health’s services, call (530) 621-6290 in Placerville or (530) 573-7970 in South Lake Tahoe. More information can also be found online at edcgov.us/mentalhealth.