The Los Angeles County Suicide Prevention Network (LASPN), in partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, has released the 2021 Suicide Prevention Report to the Community to provide an update on the status of suicide and suicide prevention activities throughout Los Angeles County. The report’s September 10 release date coincided with World Suicide Prevention Day, which aims to raise awareness and inspire action for suicide prevention efforts globally.
The 2021 Suicide Prevention Report to the Community includes information about local suicide prevention efforts, information on help-seeking, available supports and crisis resources, as well as data on suicide deaths and attempts. Data highlights of the report include:
- In 2019, the latest year for which suicide mortality data is available, 865 people died by suicide in L.A. County. For comparison, 947 people died by suicide in 2018, and preliminary data indicate that suicide deaths have further decreased in 2020.
- In 2018, the latest year for which suicide attempt data is available, 2,511 individuals were treated for a suicide attempt in emergency room settings in L.A. County. For comparison, 2,527 individuals were treated for a suicide attempt in emergency room settings in 2017.
- The risk of suicide attempts is highest for youths; 1,335 of suicide attempts in 2018 were from people under 25 years old, and the highest rate was among youths 15 to 19 years old (84/100,000).
- However, the risk of suicide deaths is highest among middle-aged and older adults; 467 people that died by suicide in 2019 were ages 45 and older, and the highest rate was seen among adults 55 to 64 years old (12.8/100,000).
The report also includes information regarding L.A. County’s suicide prevention efforts, including LACDMH’s WE RISE Initiative that encourages wellbeing through creative expression and community engagement at virtual and hyperlocal experiences throughout the County. In 2021, WE RISE’s digital programming and physically distanced in-person events have reached more than 7 million people. Additionally, LACDMH, Didi Hirsch and the Teen Line have trained more than 35,000 people in suicide prevention skills from 2019 to 2021.
“The slight decline in suicide attempts and deaths reported since 2019 is encouraging news, but we all still have so much work to do to prevent suicides and support those who have lost a loved one to suicide,” said Jonathan E. Sherin, M.D., Ph.D., Director of Mental Health. “The COVID-19 pandemic and our recovery presents tremendous mental health challenges and stressors and compels us all to go above and beyond to collectively help our neighbors and take care of one another. Our department remains fully engaged with the L.A. County Suicide Prevention Network and other partners to promote the wellbeing and resilience of our residents and communities, as well as raise awareness of available resources to those who are struggling with thoughts of suicide or know someone who is suffering.”
“The Department of Public Health is proud to be a partner of the L.A. County Suicide Prevention Network and all of the important work they lead and carry out across L.A. County,” said Barbara Ferrer, Ph.D, M.P.H., M.Ed., Director of Public Health. “The statistics are distressing. Each year since 2009, tragically, more Los Angeles County residents have died from suicide than homicide. This is a call to action. With the trauma, devastation, illness and isolation associated with the pandemic, the need to support each other and have available services for those struggling is more important than ever.”
In addition to issuing the 2021 Report, LASPN is also furthering suicide prevention efforts by hosting the 11th Annual Suicide Prevention Summit. Taking place virtually over five days throughout September, this free event series will share diverse perspectives, key insights and evidence-based best practices to reinforce our shared goals of saving lives, supporting suicide attempt survivors and helping those who have lost a loved one to suicide. This year’s summit theme is “Re-Envisioning The Journey Together,” and the sessions will focus on developing resilience, connection, intersectional allyship and cultural humility to prevent suicide and to promote healing.
“The Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Network is proud of the partnerships we have developed and cultivated for this summit and other suicide prevention activities throughout the year. Suicide is a complex problem that requires all of us to be bold enough to ask questions, discuss the issues and develop solutions,” said Tracie Andrews, L.C.S.W., Mental Health Clinical Supervisor and Co-Chair of LASPN. “We don’t have to know everything to be helpful to someone and play a role in suicide prevention, and we encourage everyone to join us in this ongoing effort.”
More information about the LASPN full 2021 Suicide Prevention Report to the Community and the 11th Annual Suicide Prevention Summit can be found on the LASPN’s website at LASuicidePreventionNetwork.org.
Information on 24/7 Crisis Resources:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-TALK 
- Veterans: press 1
- Para español, oprima el numero 2
- Lifeline Chat
- Crisis Text Line: Text LA to 741741
- Trevor Lifeline: (866) 488-7386
- Text START to 678678