We are all too familiar with the devastating impact of suicide, as it has touched the lives of so many in our community. In 2021, San Diego County alone witnessed 364 deaths by suicide, a stark reminder of the urgency and importance of enhanced suicide prevention efforts.
I have put forth legislation to address suicide in our region.
Preliminary findings from the San Diego County Gun Violence Community Needs Assessment indicate that 86.1% of gun-related deaths from 2017 to 2022 were suicides. Seniors, in particular, make up the population with the highest rate of suicide among gun users. The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated measures have exacerbated the problem, leading to increased rates of loneliness and isolation, especially among seniors.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 47% of seniors reported negative impacts on their mental health due to social distancing and pandemic-related stress.
We can identify needs and address resource gaps by conducting a comprehensive assessment. This will enable us to develop focused strategies to support those most at risk, including seniors.
We aim to take a significant step forward in preventing suicide in San Diego County. We can build a resilient, compassionate, and supportive community by allocating resources and implementing evidence-based strategies.