The suicide rate in Santa Clara County has seen a slight drop for the third year in a row despite rising numbers nationwide, the county recently reported.
The county attributes the positive trend to a combination of behavioral health programs, such as the mobile crisis response team, school trainings and needs assessments, community suicide prevention trainings and a push for safe gun storage.
There were 6.95 suicides in the county for every 100,000 people in 2017, 6.98 in 2016 and 7.77 in 2015. The state rate is 10.5, the same as the previous year, and the nationwide rate is 14, compared to 13 in 2016.
“Suicide is rarely caused by a single factor,” county officials said in a statement, explaining that it has chosen a diverse approach for suicide prevention, including mental health support, community partnerships and awareness campaigns.
These campaigns have been aimed at groups that are typically at a higher risk of suicide, including middle-age and older men, adolescents and young adults.
The county also expanded its mobile crisis response team, allowing residents to directly contact in-person mental health support services without unwanted law enforcement interaction.
The Santa Clara County Public Health Department launched an open data portal in September with data and trends regarding suicide, which remains the tenth leading cause of death in the country.
A toll-free suicide and crisis hotline is available around the clock at 855-278-4204, and additional services can be accessed at https://www.sccgov.org/sites/bhd/services/sp/pages/default.aspx.