Guest Commentary: Preventing Suicides in Yolo County

by Board of Directors, Suicide Prevention of Yolo County

The school year has begun.  Students have received their syllabi, parents have attended back to school nights, and many students have received their student body cards.  Parents may be unaware that printed on the back of student body cards for 7th to 12th graders are suicide prevention telephone numbers.  That is because this is a new law.  SB 972 went into effect in July 2019.  The bill specifically requires schools that serve students in grades 7-12, and institutions of higher education, that issue student identification cards to have printed the number for a suicide hotline.  According to Senator Portantino, the author of the bill, students typically have their identification cards on their persons, while students may otherwise see this information only sporadically or after searching online.  His hope is that the number will be readily available to potentially save a life.

In the United States, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for people between the ages of 10 to 24.  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) one in six high school students seriously consider attempting suicide.  We need to let our younger population know that there are resources available to them.  A conversation about suicide is difficult at any age.  But findings suggest acknowledging and talking about suicide may reduce rather than increase suicidal ideation.  Yet, society continues to struggle with this difficult topic.  However, suicide is preventable. When individuals, schools, and communities join forces to address suicide, they can save lives.  Raising awareness that there are resources available to everyone is one way to begin the discussion.

Suicide Prevention of Yolo County (SPYC) provides a 24/7 crisis line that anyone may access to talk through a difficult time or crisis.  SPYC’s mission is to provide crisis prevention and intervention, education, and community outreach services to the residents of Yolo County.  SPYC also offers the “SOS – Signs of Suicide®” school education and prevention program to junior high and senior high students throughout the county and provides a 24-hour ASK crisis hotline and a school safety and violence reporting crisis line where students can anonymously report concerns.  And, we would love to do more with support from the community.  For more information about SPYC or to volunteer, contact    If you know someone who is in need of assistance contact:  (530) 756-5000; (530) 666-7778; or (916) 372-6565.

Every life, no matter what age, is worth saving.  Reach out.



About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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1 Comment

  1. Robert Canning

    Thanks for keeping the public informed about th ended to prevent suicide among our youth and young adults. Suicide Prevention of Yolo County is an important resource for youth and adults alike. We should be proud of the work they do and support them any way we can.

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