SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The number of suicides in the San Diego region fell in 2014, breaking a streak of several years of increases, according to a report released Thursday.
The San Diego County Suicide Prevention Council said 420 suicides were reported countywide last year, down from 441 in 2013. There were 369 suicides in 2010, 392 in 2011 and 413 in 2012, according to the council.
Its report said the suicide rate per 100,000 also dropped, from 14 in 2013 to 13.2 last year, following several years of increases.
"The decline in the number of suicides is a glimmer of hope," said Supervisor Dave Roberts.
"It appears that our efforts to educate people about the warning signs of suicide and how to reach out for help are paying off," Roberts said. "We hope that the number continues to drop until we have no suicides in San Diego County."
Among the data in the report:
-- emergency department discharges due to self-inflicted injury increased from 2,788 in 2012 to 2,870 in 2013;
-- the number of students who seriously considered suicide declined from 20 percent in 2012 to 17.5 percent in 2014;
-- the number of crisis calls to the county's Access and Crisis Line jumped from 17,635 in 2013 to 20,267 last year; and
-- visits to the county's suicide prevention website, It's Up to Us, rose from 98,960 two years ago to 134,574 in 2014.
"People are reaching out and getting help and that is great news," said Alfredo Aguirre, director of the Behavioral Health Services division at the county Health and Human Services Agency.
Information on suicide, risk factors, warning signs to watch for, how to get help, resources and training is available online at www.up2sd.org, or at the county's Access and Crisis Line at (888) 724-7240.