Southern California Program

Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center

Health Care
Culver City, CA
December 2018

Didi Hirsch operates the Suicide Prevention Center (SPC), which is a founding member of the Lifeline network of 160 suicide crisis lines.  Suicide is a public health crisis in the U.S.  Between 1999 and 2016, the suicide rate increased almost 30%, rising most steeply among the middle aged (45-64) who have the highest suicide rate in the nation.  Forty-one percent of those who die by suicide have made previous attempts, often beginning early in life.  Among 15- to 24-year-olds the attempt rate is about double that of all other age groups.  In 2017, the SPC answered over 100,000 calls/chats, a third from Los Angeles County, and trained over 10,000 residents to recognize and respond to the warning signs of suicide.  Unable to squeeze more staff and volunteers into its leased space in Culver City, Didi Hirsch purchased a larger building in West Los Angeles.  With double the square footage, the SPC will be able to expand current services and add new ones, such as a support group for teens who have lost a friend or family member to suicide.  The Keck Foundation’s capital grant will support acquisition to help keep the carrying costs affordable.

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