Category Archives: Suicide Prevention Month

The S- Word Film Screening and Panel Opens Up Dialogue About Suicide and Stigma

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Last Wednesday, on September 19th, over 100 people attended San Mateo County’s first ever S- Word Film Screening and Panel hosted at the San Mateo High School Performing Arts Center in collaboration with San Mateo Union High School District, Star-Vista and the Office of Diversity and Equity. 

The S- Word is a documentary following a survivor of a suicide attempt as she embarks on a mission to document the stories of fellow survivors and document their stories of insight, humor, and courage. She discovers a national community rising to transform personal struggles into action.

During the panel discussion, audience members were able to ask questions about suicide anonymously that were displayed on the projector for the panelists to answer. Questions included “how do I connect with others that are considering suicide” and “what’s the best time or age to talk about this topic?” 

Sylvia Tang, Office of Diversity and Equity, Co- Chair of Suicide Prevention Committee, and Co- Coordinator of this event states,  

“I am so thankful that we had an engaged audience who asked thoughtful questions and wanted more community screenings of the S-Word. This film helped start a dialogue about suicide; this is such an important first step in suicide prevention because it raises awareness and reduces stigma around suicide.  We hope more community members and agencies join the San Mateo County Suicide Prevention Committee because we need everyone to help prevent suicide in our schools and greater community.”  

Special thanks to all the panelists: 

And all who tabled including:

This event was co-partnered by StarVista, The Office of Diversity and Equity, and San Mateo Union High School District.

Know the Signs, Find the Words, Reach Out

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In recognition of September Suicide Prevention Month, San Mateo County’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Services reminds everyone that by knowing the signs, finding the words, and reaching out, we can work together to prevent suicide.

Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues. Much like mental health conditions, suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or background. Too often the feelings of shame and stigma prevent those affected from talking openly or seeking help.

September, which is nationally recognized as suicide prevention month, is a time for us to share resources and stories to shed light on the highly taboo and stigmatized topic. It is important that individuals, friends, and family are receiving the resources to learn the signs of suicide, how to find the words to talk openly about suicide, and how to reach out.

If you or someone you know is facing a mental health crisis, call the StarVista Crisis Hotline 650-579-0350 (1-800-273-8255).

For more information on how to help a loved one who may be at risk of suicide, visit www.suicideispreventable.org.

For information on San Mateo County suicide prevention resources, visit www.smchealth.org/suicideprevention.

While suicide prevention is important to address year-round, Suicide Prevention Awareness Month provides a dedicated time to come together with collective passion and strength around a difficult topic. Truthfully, we can all benefit from honest conversations about

Amplifying Consumer Voices

In raising awareness around suicide prevention and celebrating recovery, our community sent a strong message this September: suicide is preventable and recovery is possible.

One of the most important things we did this September – and will continue to do all year long – is amplify the voices of those who have worked hard to overcome their behavioral health challenges. In sharing these stories, we embolden others to seek recovery as well. Read more

Thank You For Recognizing Suicide Prevention Month!

SPRoadMapThank you for recognizing Suicide Prevention Month! We want to recognize suicide survivors and their families for their resilience, our partners for working with the County to prevent suicide, and community members for bringing this challenging but important conversation to your loved ones.

We encourage you to #Bethe1to recognize suicide prevention in September and year round! You can learn more in depth how suicide affects San Mateo County and what we can do to solve the problem by checking out San Mateo County’s first Suicide Prevention Roadmap. #SMCPrevention

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Continuing the Conversation on Mental Health with School Resource Officers

9-14-17 3When a young person is in immediate crisis, School Resource Officers (SROs) are often called to assess the young person and determine if the youth needs hospitalization. Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) takes this process a step further by building empathy and understanding through listening non-judgmentally and giving reassurance and information, two steps from the YMHFA Action Plan, to the youth in crisis. Following protocols is essential, yet can be a difficult process for a young person who may be experiencing a mental health emergency. The hope in training School Resource Officers in YMHFA is to minimize the impact hospitalization may cause for a young student by building relationships, connections, and providing support.

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Challenging The Stigma That Mental Health Disorders Are “Unmanly”

therapyBetween 2010-2015, males comprised 73.8% of suicides reported in San Mateo County. While men aged 25 to 54 years old account for the largest number of suicide deaths in the U.S., they are also the least likely to seek any kind of support or treatment.


Check out Man
Therapy.org which was created by men and for men (and their loved ones) to combat the problematic idea that mental health disorders are unmanly signs of weakness, and to share mental health information with the men in your life. #BeThe1To reach out and support the men in your life. #SMCPrevention. 

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Spanish Suicide Prevention Resources

Preguntar directamente sobre el suicidio puede ayudar a salvar una vida pero puede ser difícil si no sabe qué decir. Visite www.elsuicidioesprevenible.org para aprender sobre cuales son algunas de las herramientas de cómo usted puede hacer una gran diferencia en la vida de otros.

Asking about suicide directly can help save a life but it can be difficult if you do not know what to say. Visit www.elsuicidioesprevenible.org (Spanish) or www.suicideispreventable.org to learn about some of the tools on how you can make a big difference in the lives of others.

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September Proclaimed As Suicide Prevention Month

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On September 12, Board of Supervisors proclaimed September as Suicide Prevention Month.

Three Lived Experience Academy (LEA) graduates shared their suicide survivor stories. Their personal stories emphasize that prevention works, treatment is available and recovery is possible.  

If you or someone you know is facing a mental health crisis, call the StarVista Crisis Hotline 650-579-0350 (1-800-273-8255).

For more information on how to help a loved who may be at risk of suicide, visit www.suicideispreventable.org.

For information on San Mateo County suicide prevention resources, visit www.smchealth.org/suicideprevention.

 

Reducing the Risk of Suicide in Older Adults

olderadultsWhen most people think about suicide, young people come to mind. What many people do not know is that suicide rates are higher among older adults than any other age group. Physical and social challenges related to aging can increase the risk of depression, anxiety and isolation, but help is available for coping with these challenges. #BeThe1To support the older adults in your life and share the Institute of Aging 24/7 Friendship Line at 1-800-971-0016.  #SMCPrevention

To gain more in depth knowledge on how to prevent suicides among an older adult, you can attend the Suicide Prevention in Older Adults training on Friday, September 29 9:30-11:30am at 350 Twin Dolphin Drive, Redwood Shores. Register by 9/25 at www.smcolderadultsuicideprevention.eventbrite.com.

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Meet Christian Hidalgo

In honor of Recovery and Suicide Prevention Month, we’ve been interviewing clients and staff about their experiences with recovery and suicide prevention. Take a look at this story shared by Christian Hidalgo, a client and survivor. Be sure to check our Facebook page for more inspiring, true stories this month.

Posted by San Mateo County Health System on Friday, September 15, 2017

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