We bring readers tragic news out of Willits from this last Easter Sunday where a local resident hanged themselves off a bridge along Old Highway 101.
A press release from the California Highway Patrol Garberville office indicated officers were called to Willits’s North Main Street at the Upp Creek Bridge where officers located a 64-year-old Willits woman who had taken her life at the bridge.
Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Captain Greg Van Patten confirmed the woman hanged herself from the side of the bridge.
CHP reassured the public that “evidence on scene overwhelmingly indicates the victim committed suicide and there is no threat to public safety at this time.”
Scanner traffic from that day indicated that California Highway Patrol Officers were originally on the scene and were joined by fire personnel and a Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Deputy/Coroner.
This tragedy occurred just one day after two unidentified subjects jumped from the Albion River Bridge resulting in the death of one and the life flight another. Authorities have yet to provide more information about this incident.
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.
The California Department of Public Health’s latest comprehensive data regarding suicide indicates Mendocino County has California’s eighth highest suicide rate, with Humboldt County in 5th place and Lake County coming in at 2nd place.
Please remember, if you or a loved one are suffering from mental distress there are many resources that can be accessed including:
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988 (call or text) or 800-273-TALK (8255) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- 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
- 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: