Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Captain Greg Van Patten confirmed that a 51-year-old Willits man committed suicide last night by stabbing himself in the chest. Captain Van Patten said the man was “home with family members when the suicide occurred.”
Though difficult to consider, Mendocino County residents need to remember that the county experienced the sixth-highest suicide rate in the state of California between 2015-2017, as per research conducted by the California Department of Public Health. According to the same study, Lake County experiences the highest rate of suicides, and Humboldt County, the 4th in the state while Trinity County, and Del Norte vied with a number of other small rural counties for third.
More recently, Mendocino County experienced a spike in suicides associated with COVID-19 lockdowns though Humboldt and Trinity reported no particular uptick.
Many aspects of the Emerald Triangle’s rural lifestyle lend themselves to suicide risk factors. Those risk factors, as described by the Center for Disease Control, include barriers to health care, social isolation, and high rates of adverse childhood experiences,
Please remember, if you or a loved one are suffering from mental distress there are many resources that can be accessed including:
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): 1-800-950-6264, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): (800) 662-4357
- National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): (866) 615-6464
- Mental Health America Hotline: Text MHA to 741741
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
- Crisis Text Line: Text CONNECT to 741741
In efforts to educate the public regarding suicide prevention, the following infographic from the National Institute of Mental Health provides guidance in warning signs associated with suicide: