Long Beach
2nd District

Civic Center Plaza
333 West Ocean Blvd. 14th Floor
Long Beach, CA 90802
Phone: (562) 570-2222
6/18/2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release #
Subject:
Councilwoman Pearce to Fight Rising Suicide Rates
Councilwoman Looks to Council Colleagues to Help Combat Dire Situation
Contact:
Devin Ablard
562-570-2222
Devin.Ablard@LongBeach.gov
Communications Deputy




  • Who:The Office of Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce
  • What: A council item exploring suicide prevention on a citywide level
  • When: June 19, 2018 Where: Long Beach Council Chambers
  • Purpose: To save lives

LONG BEACH, CA - Councilwoman Pearce’s Office entered a supplemental item to Tuesday’s upcoming agenda looking to explore how the city can help curtail the rise in suicide attempts in Long Beach. In what could become a national model for cities, Pearce’s item has 4 key points:
  1. A report of Long Beach’s current suicide prevention methods
  2. To create a suicide prevention community task force
  3. To establish a suicide prevention plan
  4. To train community members on intervention, procedures, and knowledge of existing resources

In the item supported by Councilwomen Gonzalez and Price, and Councilman Supernaw, Pearce cites a report from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention stating that in 2018, on average, one person dies by suicide every two hours, making it the eleventh leading cause of death in California and second leading for ages 25 to 34. The three leading demographics for suicide in the United States are whites at 15%, Native Americans at 13% and Asian/Pacific Islanders at near 7%. This is clearly an epidemic that touches everyone, and in Long Beach alone, we see 3-4 suicides a month.

“People are suffering from one cause or another. We have an idea as to what those causes can sometimes be, but it’s our responsibility to be proactive to combat those causes. We need to approach this issue with compassion, but also with persistence and vigor because lives are literally at stake.” - Jeannine Pearce

Some of the cited causes of suicidal thoughts are substance abuse, poor job security or job satisfaction, or a history of abuse. The creation of the task force will hopefully explore each of these avenues and come up with creative, holistic ways of easing the suffering of our neighbors, friends, and family. The stated goals in the item are clear: to reduce deaths by suicide, increase awareness and understanding, and connect individuals to resources that can provide methods of healing.

Councilwoman Pearce is all too familiar with the trauma and impacts suicide attempts can have on an individual, a family, or a community. She was raised by a mother who had several suicide attempts and eventually becoming a victim of suicide on June 6th 2009. Pearce understands that we need a community wide approach to curtail the causes of this tragic reality.

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Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce was elected in June 2016 to serve Long Beach’s 2nd Council District, a long time resident committed to ensuring that all residents are well represented in local government. Her priorities include supporting a thriving and growing local economy, building a clean and safe environment for residents to flourish and a commitment to collaboration with all stakeholders.

Jeannine's personal story is characterized by struggle and perseverance. Adopted at a young age, Jeannine grew up very poor. She moved out of her home at the age of 16 and has worked since then. She made the move from her home state of Texas to California with her husband in 2005. After a decade of working multiple jobs while going to college, she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Long Beach State University with a degree in sociology in 2009. She currently lives near Retro Row with her daughter, Jubilee.