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Assemblymember James Ramos Holds Town Hall Recognizing Survivors Of Suicide Loss

Assemblymember James Ramos, who represents much of San Bernardino County in the California Assembly, held a virtual town hall today recognizing International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s website, International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is “an event in which survivors of suicide loss come together to find connection, understanding, and hope through their shared experience.”

This year’s International Survivors of Suicide Loss Days was on Saturday, Nov. 21.

The Monday, Nov. 23 Zoom event brought together representatives from San Bernardino County Behavioral Health, the City of Rancho Cucamonga, and Uplift Family Services.

"Besides the grievous loss of a loved one, another layer of tragedy is added because we know too often suicide can be prevented. We also know suicide affects more than just the victim. Family members, friends, and the community are also affected," Ramos says. 

Ramos touted his bill, AB 2112, which establishes a statewide office of suicide prevention that was signed by Governor Gavin Newsom.

Ramos says having such an office is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“California needs to make mental health a part of every emergency and economic recovery. People are suffering unimaginable losses now, and are struggling to deal with them. We need to have mental health services available as a forethought, not an afterthought."

One of the town hall guests was Dr. Veronica Kelley, Director of the San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health.

“I can say locally we’ve a seen a 26% increase in calls to our suicide hotline, and to sort of reframe that, that can be seen as a positive because it means people are reaching out for help. Our county has a number of resources available which can be accessed via our COVID crisis line, our access line, as well as anyone can call the National Suicide Hotline at 800-273-TALK,” Kelley says.

The full town hall is available on Assemblymember Ramos’ Facebook page.

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