In the item supported by Councilwomen Gonzalez and Price, and Councilman Supernaw, Pearce cites a report from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention stating that in 2018, on average, one person dies by suicide every two hours, making it the eleventh leading cause of death in California and second leading for ages 25 to 34. The three leading demographics for suicide in the United States are whites at 15%, Native Americans at 13% and Asian/Pacific Islanders at near 7%. This is clearly an epidemic that touches everyone, and in Long Beach alone, we see 3-4 suicides a month.
“People are suffering from one cause or another. We have an idea as to what those causes can sometimes be, but it’s our responsibility to be proactive to combat those causes. We need to approach this issue with compassion, but also with persistence and vigor because lives are literally at stake.” - Jeannine Pearce
Some of the cited causes of suicidal thoughts are substance abuse, poor job security or job satisfaction, or a history of abuse. The creation of the task force will hopefully explore each of these avenues and come up with creative, holistic ways of easing the suffering of our neighbors, friends, and family. The stated goals in the item are clear: to reduce deaths by suicide, increase awareness and understanding, and connect individuals to resources that can provide methods of healing.
Councilwoman Pearce is all too familiar with the trauma and impacts suicide attempts can have on an individual, a family, or a community. She was raised by a mother who had several suicide attempts and eventually becoming a victim of suicide on June 6th 2009. Pearce understands that we need a community wide approach to curtail the causes of this tragic reality.