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Rancho Cucamonga invites the community to discussion on suicide prevention

Redlands Daily Facts - 5/20/2018

May 19--Rancho Cucamonga wants to have a conversation with the community about suicide prevention.

Recognizing early warning signs, seeking treatment and personal stories will be part of the conversation during the city's mental health symposium planned for 5:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 22, at Central Park, 11200 Base Line Road.

"We know there's a lot of stigma associated with mental health and suicide in particular," said Erika Lewis-Huntley, a management analyst with the city of Rancho Cucamonga.

"We're really hoping that as a city and by taking a leadership role, to really engage in these very meaningful and much-needed conversations that we hope will change the culture in Rancho Cucamonga," she said, "and, those that really need services will feel empowered to go and seek those resources here in the community."

Symposium attendees will hear from a mental health service provider on early warning signs and risk factors that could help save a life, learn safe strategies on what to do during a suicidal crisis and how to seek treatment for themselves or loved ones.

A panel of teens and adults who survived suicide attempts will share their stories with attendees.

In addition, there will be a free meditation and mindfulness workshop and a mental health services and resource fair.

Attendees will have an opportunity to meet with a mental health professional for 15-minute sessions, Lewis-Huntley said.

The symposium is part of the city's Your Mind Matters campaign, which was launched after residents identified mental health as a community health priority during the strategic planning process for Healthy RC, a city-community collaboration that focuses on improving community health.

Residents also identified healthy eating and active living, education and family support, economic development, community connections and safety, disaster resiliency, clean environment and healthy aging.

"The community really understands that health is holistic and really wanted the city to develop targeted strategies and programming around all those different health factors," Lewis-Huntley said.

Healthy RC is comprised of city and county staff, nonprofits, community groups, small businesses and residents.

A subcommittee was formed to focus primarily on mental health initiatives, which includes quarterly symposiums.

Past symposiums have focused on cyber bullying, an introduction to mental health and accessing resources in the community.

Tuesday's symposium will be the first on suicide prevention.

"We're really try to get every sector of the community because we know that mental health challenges don't discriminate," Lewis-Huntley said. "It affects everyone. We want to make sure we're inclusive in this process."

Dinner and childcare will be provided during the symposium. Spanish translation will be available.

RSVP for the symposium here.

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(c)2018 the Redlands Daily Facts (Redlands, Calif.)

Visit the Redlands Daily Facts (Redlands, Calif.) at www.redlandsdailyfacts.com

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