Suicide is becoming an epidemic in the United States, as the suicide rate has risen nearly 30 percent over the last decade. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans are struggling with some form of mental illness or depression. In response to this crisis, Rabbi Noah Farkas of Valley Beth Shalom has organized “So Healthy Together: A Community Response to Mental Health Issues and Suicide Prevention.” The yearlong program launches with a panel discussion led by Farkas with Dr. Steven Siegel, chair of USC’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Dr. Brigid Mariko Conn of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles; and Susan Auerbach, Cal State Northridge professor of education and author of “I’ll Write Your Name on Every Beach: A Mother’s Quest for Comfort, Courage and Clarity After Suicide Loss.” After the discussion, representatives from mental health organizations, including Didi Hirsch, Teen Line and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, will be available to answer questions and provide more information. Farkas hopes the program will lead to “a positive, healthy and resilient” com-munity. 1-3 p.m. Free. Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino. (818) 788-6000.