Suicide Prevention Awareness Month


September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month with September 10 being World Suicide Prevention Day. It is with this purpose that the following is shared to further awareness and continue with the prevention efforts.

 “To anyone who has had suicidal thoughts this past year, I am glad you are here. Keep holding on” - unknown.

According to The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States

  • Each year 44,965 Americans die by suicide

  • For every suicide, 25 attempts

  • Men die by suicide 3.53x more often than women.

  • On average, there are 123 suicides per day.

  • The rate of suicide is the highest in middle age.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention provides the following statistics specific to age, race, ethnicity and suicide methods.

Suicides by Age

In 2016, the highest suicide rate (19.72) was among adults between 45 and 54 years of age. The second highest rate (18.98) occurred in those 85 years or older. Younger groups have had consistently lower suicide rates than middle-aged and older adults. In 2016, adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 24 had a suicide rate of 13.15.

Suicide Rates by Race/Ethnicity

In 2016, the highest U.S. suicide rate (15.17) was among Whites and the second highest rate (13.37) was among American Indians and Alaska Natives (Figure 5). Much lower and roughly similar rates were found among Asians and Pacific Islanders (6.62), and Black or African Americans (6.03). White males accounted for 7 of 10 suicides in 2016.

Suicide Methods

In 2016, firearms were the most common method of death by suicide, accounting for a little more than half (51.01%) of all suicide deaths. The next most common methods were suffocation (including hangings) at 25.89% and poisoning at 14.90%.


What leads an individual to ultimately make the decision to commit suicide can be summarized as being the loss of hope. The therapists’ main goal is to instill hope in our clients. We do this in various forms based on chosen theoretical frameworks. The altruistic uniting factor that we share for our clients is the simple act of being a non- judgmental presence. Present to journey along and guide clients throughout the other side of the despair that is depression.

“Despair is the price one pays for self-awareness. Look deeply into life, and you’ll always find despair”- Irving D. Yalom.

According to Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15 to 44.3. MDD affects more than 16.1 million American adults, or about 6.7%of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year. While major depressive disorder can develop at any age, the median age at onset is 32.5 years old. It is more prevalent in women than in men. Persistent depressive disorder (PDD) affects approximately 1.5 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year (about 3.3 million American adults). Only 61.7% of adults with MDD are receiving treatment. The average age of onset is 31 years old.”

Quote for Suicide.jpg

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) list the following as risk factors and protective factors for suicide. They clarify that there is a “combination of individual, relationship, community, and societal factors contribute to the risk of suicide. Risk factors are those characteristics associated with suicide—they might not be direct causes”.

Risk Factors

  • Family history of suicide

  • Family history of child maltreatment

  • Previous suicide attempt(s)

  • History of mental disorders, particularly clinical depression

  • History of alcohol and substance abuse

  • Feelings of hopelessness

  • Impulsive or aggressive tendencies

  • Cultural and religious beliefs (e.g., belief that suicide is noble resolution of personal dilemma)

  • Local epidemics of suicide

  • Isolation, a feeling of being cut off from other people

  • Barriers to accessing mental health treatment

  • Loss (relational, social, work, or financial)

  • Physical illness

  • Easy access to lethal methods

  • Unwillingness to seek help because of the stigma attached to mental health and substance abuse disorders or to suicidal thoughts.

Protective Factors for Suicide

Protective factors buffer individuals from suicidal thoughts and behavior. To date, protective factors have not been studied as extensively or rigorously as risk factors. Identifying and understanding protective factors are, however, equally as important as researching risk factors.

Protective Factors

  • Effective clinical care for mental, physical, and substance abuse disorders

  • Easy access to a variety of clinical interventions and support for help seeking

  • Family and community support (connectedness)

  • Support from ongoing medical and mental health care relationships

  • Skills in problem solving, conflict resolution, and nonviolent ways of handling disputes

  • Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide and support instincts for self preservation (U.S. Public Health Service 1999)

 “Sometime even to live is an act of courage” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Resources Local to Murrieta and Surrounding Areas

If you or someone you love are having a psychiatric emergency call 911. 

24/7 Mental Health Urgent Care

24 hour/7 days/365 urgent care mental health screening and assessment services and medications.


Riverside: 9990 County Farm Rd. Riverside, CA 92503 (951) 509-2499

Perris: 85 Ramona Expressway, Suites 1-3 Perris, CA 92571 951-349-4195 Main


HELPLine - 24 Hour Crisis/Suicide Intervention
The HELPline is a free, confidential Crisis/Suicide Intervention service. Operated by highly trained volunteers, the line is open 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

Phone: (951) 686-HELP (4357)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255) you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.

Phone: (800) 273-TALK (800-273-8255)

Spanish line: (888) 628-9454

TTY: (800) 799-4TTY (4889)

Veterans Crisis Line 
The Veterans Crisis Line is a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) resource that connects Veterans in crisis or their families and friends with qualified, caring VA professionals.

Confidential support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Phone: (800)-273-8255 Press 1

The Trevor Project Lifeline
National organization providing crisis and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) Youth

866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386)


Riverside University Health System Medical Center Emergency Treatment Services (ETS) 
Provides psychiatric emergency services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for all ages, which includes evaluation, crisis intervention, and referrals for psychiatric hospitalization, as needed for adults, children, and adolescents. Consumers may be referred to the Inpatient Treatment Facility (ITF) or other private hospitals. 

9990 County Farm Road, Ste. 4

Riverside, CA 92503

Phone: (951) 358-4881

Se Habla Español

*Resource list compiled by Riverside University Mental Health System-Behavioral Health

We at Central Counseling Services Murrieta are looking forward to journey with you on your path to mental wellness. For appointments I may be contacted at 951-778-0230. We are located at 29970 Technology Drive #116 Murrieta, CA 92563.

By Susana Anaya-Baca, LCSW

Susana Anaya-Baca, LCSW joined Central Counseling Services as a therapist in 2018. She is a graduate of California State University Long Beach School of Social Work where she earned her Master in Social Work with a concentration in older adults and families (OAF). She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW#69056) and is licensed to practice psychotherapy in California since 2015. She is fluent in Spanish.

Ms. Anaya-Baca has experience working with a wide range of individuals and settings. Prior to entering private practice, she practiced as a clinical medical social worker with individuals and families facing life-limiting illness in the area of home health, palliative care and hospice. Susana is a member of the National Association of Social Workers.

17 Inspirational Quotes to Motivate YOU to Start Therapy Today

Contemplating therapy? Thinking about picking up the phone is the first step in your journey towards emotional wellness. Sometimes we just need a little something extra to help us become excited and invested in committing to change. We hope one of the following quotes will resonate with you and give you the courage you need to take the next step.


1. There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.--Maya Angelou

2. When we talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. - Fred Rogers

3. If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail. - Abraham Maslow

4. My potential is unlimited. - Success Mantra

5. You can't change how people treat you or what they say about you. All you can do is change how you react to it. - Unknown

6. Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate. - Carl Jung

7. Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy. - Wayne Gretsky

8. All great changes are preceded by chaos. - Deepak Chopra

9. When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. - Viktor Frankl

10. Nothing will work unless you do. - Maya Angelou

11. In any given moment, we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety. - Abraham Maslow

12. Discovering the truth about ourselves is a lifetime's work, but it's worth the effort. - Fred Rogers

13. The future depends on what you do today. - Mahatma Ghandi

14. I'm not telling you it's going to be easy. I'm telling you it's going to be worth it. - Art Williams

15. Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.  - Robert Collier

16. The secret to change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. - Dan Millman

17. And you? When will you begin the long journey into yourself? - Rumi

We hope this has made it a priority for you to make some changes in your life, to make it the life you want to live. We are here six days a week to help you get there. Call us today.


Vision for 2015

How’s your life going?


Have you thought about your life and how is it really going? Are you happy with the direction? Do you want a change? Have you never thought much about it at all? Or is it the only thing you think about? As the year 2014, comes to an end it we often see lists of top ten, a look back at the year or reviews of what 2014 has been in the news, music, science, entertainment or politics arenas; but what about you? When was the last time you sat down for longer than about 10 minutes to really think about you to contemplate your life and where you want to go?

What is your vision?

 I hate New Year’s resolutions. I do like the concept of thinking about things you would like changed or places to want to see or social behaviors you want to do, like be kinder, nicer, say no or are willing do or be________(fill in the blank, so many possibilities.) So why do I hate resolutions so much? I love goals and evaluating where I can grow to be better, learn more accomplish more. But I hate the word resolution because it never seems to work, we all set goals and things we want to change. To lose weight, spend less, study more…but after about three weeks our will power and motivation decreases and we are back to old routines and habits. Then we feel bad, ashamed and again like a failure. I hate that feeling and I am sure you do too. So let’s not set a resolution! Great it’s all settled.

But then how do we look at our life? How do we set goals and change behaviors? This past year I have been working with my clients to help them stay in the present, to focus on one thing at a time, to be mindful of their thoughts, to enjoying the moments one at the time, to stop living in the past or future only. All these techniques can help reduce stress, build better relationships and increase happiness. But are goals then a thing of the past? No but what if we set an intention? We deliberately set our mind set on what we really want out of 2015.

Let’s create a vision or action board.

Both of these activities focus us on what we want to change and allow us to be creative in our approach. To use our imaginations, to think about how and what we want to change, do or become. I am suggesting you use a vision board to create your “Dream 2015” a final product if you will. However, I am also suggesting you go one step further and define the actions to get to the end. 

Let you mind go, imagine what your life can be like.

Let you mind go, imagine what your life can be like.

How do we make this vision board?

1.     Set our environment to allow for space, use good lighting, music, and set the intention. To create your list, your life the way you want it.  Be kind to yourself, allow all ideas to flow, watch the negativity.  Be open to the process, be open to learning. Create a mindful space and space that is safe and protects your ability to dream and create.

2.     Take poster paper or blank cardboard. I would recommend at least 22” x 28”  Big enough to dream but small enough to handle easily.

3.     Take pictures or phrase from magazines use different ones to give you a large variety. But if you can’t find magazines, draw pictures, use computer imagines or photos. You see you are only limited by your imagination.

4.     Glue onto the board or draw on your board.

5.     Use bright colors, color pencils, markers or sharpies to write words to accompany your pictures or words of encouragement, inspiration or motivation. 

6.      Hang up your board where you can see it frequently.


Samples of vision boards can be found on Pinrest or Jack Canfield explains more details in his article: How to Create an Empowering Vision Board Christine Kane also explains about three different types of vision boards in her article: How to Make Vision Boards.

Now step back and look at that board. Ask yourself this tough question:

What can I do this week to make this goal a reality?


Brainstorm a few ideas and then write yourself a weekly action plan.  Then start the action, a little at a time. One step leads to another. Even one action a week can lead to 40-50 actions by the end of the year.  Great things can happen that way.


Monthly review your actions look at what you have accomplished, celebrate success for these actions. If you have not taken any action then again ask yourself why? What is holding you back? Do you really want to achieve what’s on your vision board? Have your goals changed? Once you know those answers you can then make the changes you need.


By focusing on your goals with intention, planning, vision and actions you can achieve many wonderful ideas to shape and change your life for the better.  Here’s to our visions for a

 GREAT 2015!