The city of Redlands hosted a discussion on teen suicide on May 7 entitled, “Let’s Talk About It,” at Citrus Valley High School, after four recent teen suicides occurred in San Bernardino County during April. The talk hosted by Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE) discussed the warning signs of teen suicide, preventive measures, suicide pacts and suicide contagion — which is a phenomenon where direct or indirect exposure to suicide can put others at risk for suicide.
Three of the victims, one male and two females, were from Redlands and attended separate high schools. The other victim was a teenage female from Colton. According to the investigators none of the cases were related.
These incidents reflect a national trend according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as teen suicide rates have increased by 24 percent from 1999-2014. According to Captain Kevin Lacy of the San Bernardino County Coroner’s Department, April 2016 saw the highest number of suicides countywide among all age groups. “We had a period of time where it seemed we were getting one or two a day this month,” Lacy told the Press Enterprise.
“We don’t want the public to be frightened by this in a sense that there is some sort of epidemic going on, because there isn’t,” Daniel J. Reidenberg, executive director of SAVE explained regarding this event. “It’s a problem because there’s an increase, period. We have to be concerned about it. We have to be alarmed about it.”