Experts gather in Palm Desert to discuss mental health

Chris Alvarez, KESQ News Channel 3 & CBS Local 2 Sports Director, chris.alvarez@kesq.com
POSTED: 03:43 PM PDT May 03, 2013    UPDATED: 03:50 PM PDT May 03, 2013 
(img1)Mental Health Summit (1)
PALM DESERT, Calif. -

More people now die of suicide than from car crashes. What's causing so many people to take their own lives? Leaders and experts on mental health issues gathered at the CSU San Bernadino Palm Desert Campus, the goal, early prevention through education.

"Once you know that you aren't alone and you get this information out and this education it reduces the shame, it reduces this embarrassment and you are going to go out and seek resources and try and get your self better and early prevention to this is so much better," said Gary Jeandron, Director of the Coachella Valley Health Collaborative.

But, not everyone gets the help they need. A study, by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, reveals a dramatic increase in the number of suicides nationwide.

According to the study, the suicide rate among middle-aged Americans rose 28% and increased 40% among Caucasians between the ages of 35 and 64.

But, if there's a bright side, it's here in Riverside County.

"We are very proactive about it, we are increasing services in mental health, medical services so we are actually kind of a bright light in a very dark sea," said Gregg Homme, a board member for American Suicide Prevention.