Public Health Department officials stated that, as of 11/13, the county has received a total of 50,100 H1N1 vaccines and is expecting an additional 15,800 doses-more than enough to cover the 60,000 county residents who are designated at high risk for health complications should they contract swine flu. Thus far, more than 4,000 people have been vaccinated at county clinics, mostly pregnant women and young children. For more information on public clinics and answers to many H1N1 questions, visit sbcfluinfo.org.
Suicide prevention workers have been working overtime in the wake of two teen suicides that occurred within a week of each other, both employing the same means. The first youth, aged 16, died on October 30 in downtown Santa Barbara; the second on November 4 in Goleta. Two meetings have been held since the deaths allowing concerned parents to hear from counselors with Glendon Associates, who specialize in suicide awareness and prevention. There is no evidence that the two youths knew each other.
CHP officers posted a series of “Emergency Parking Only” signs at both ends of the Cold Spring Bridge, the site of four suicides in the past month. Plans to install a suicide prevention fence along the bridge has emerged as the focus of intense controversy pitting attorney Marc McGinnes against Caltrans and mental health professionals. Despite the escalating rate of incidents, McGinnes argues that the fence will diminish the visual charm of a historic bridge and that people who are intent on suicide will find other ways to kill themselves.