A suicide-prevention campaign called “Know the Signs” was launched throughout Los Angeles County earlier this month, helping to raise awareness about the work of organizations such as Action Family Counseling, a Santa Clarita-based drug and alcohol rehab center.
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The campaign is a statewide effort by the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health to reach susceptible groups in the months of May and June, according to a LACDMH news release.
“Suicide is prevalent everywhere,” said Cary Quashen, founder and CEO of Action Family Counseling and the nonprofit Action Family Foundation. “We always incorporate suicide prevention in everything we do. It’s a constant for us. If (clients) are not suicidal actively, they’re making suicidal decisions by what they’re doing.”
The goal of “Know the Signs” is to educate Los Angeles residents on how to recognize the warning signs of suicide, find the words to have direct conversations with those in crisis and find professional help and resources, LACDMH officials said.
Billboards, bulletins and posters in both English and Spanish versions began appearing throughout Los Angeles County on May 1 by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and will continue to run for eight weeks.
Ads contain contact information for LACDMH’s 24/7 access line and the suicide prevention hotline.
“There’s always solutions to what’s going on with people, so we’ve got to get the word out there so people know that there’s hope, and whatever they’re going through will get better,” Quashen said. “Knowledge is power, so by getting suicide prevention out, we’re giving people the knowledge to make better decisions and to know that they’re not alone– to know that there’s other choices out there. We need to give them options.”
The initiative originated with the California Mental Health Services Authority, utilizing a full range of strategies from prevention to early intervention across diverse backgrounds to prevent suicide, and CMHSA was instrumental in advancing the “Know the Signs” campaign, according to the news release.
“Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem,” Quashen said. “Everything can get better if you want it to.”
For more information on the campaign or to learn about suicide prevention, click here.
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