Category Archives: Suicide Prevention

Suicide Prevention Month 2020: Know the Signs

Feelings of uncertainty and instability due to the unknown can take a huge toll on ourselves and everyone around us. According to the CDC, U.S. adults reported elevated of adverse mental health conditions recently. The increase was more significant among young adults, essential workers and minorities. Some people may be  fighting personal battles  –  questioning whether to continue to live through the emotional pain they are experiencing.  

We can all take simple actions to safeguard our mental health and save lives. Learn the warning signs for suicide and what to do if you are worried someone is struggling.

How can I tell if someone is having thoughts of suicide? 

Although in-person interactions may be limited it is more important than ever to be vigilant for those around us to know the signs. Staying connected with regular check-ins is essential so you can recognize the warning signs. If you are worried that someone is having thoughts of suicide, the next step is to find the words and reach out. It’s important to talk openly about suicide, and to ask directly: “Are you having thoughts of suicide?” or “Are you having thoughts of ending your life?” Learn about the warning signs and risk factors for suicide at www.suicideispreventable.org

You can also attend one of the Suicide Prevention Month events happening this month: 

  • Sunday, September 20 | 6:00-8:30pm 
    Virtual Screening of the film “S-Word” 
  • Monday, September 21 | 6:00-8:00pm 
    Know the Signs of Suicide Among African American and Other Communities  
  • Monday, September 28 | 6:00-8:00pm  
    Reconozca las Señales de Suicidio en la Comunidad Latinx 

For details and a full list of events throughout September,  visit smchealth.org/suicide-prevention-month. 

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please reach out to these 24/7 crisis hotlines: StarVista Crisis Hotline (San Mateo County): 650-579-0350, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Crisis Text Line – Text “Home” to 741741 or find additional crisis resources here.  

 #BeTheOneSMC to reach out and check-in with someone you know. 

Voices of Recovery Screening: “The S word”

September is both Recovery month and Suicide Prevention Month. Join Voices of Recovery for a free screening of “The S Word” which will address this important issue and give hope to survivors as well as those impacted by suicide. There will be time for questions and answers at the screening.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020 | 6–8 PM
Please register here.

See the full list of Recovery Month events at vorsmc.org/recovery-happens. All events are virtual. Please register in advance.

If you or some you know is in need of mental health or substance use support or treatment, call Behavioral Health & Recovery Services at 1-(800) 686 0101 or visit www.smchealth.org/bhrsservices

Suicide Prevention Month 2020 calendar of Events

During September, San Mateo County recognizes both Suicide Prevention Month and National Recovery Month where individuals, organizations and communities join their voices together to raise awareness that suicide can be prevented and recovery is possible.  As part of the many activities taking place this month, we are encouraging everyone to show their support by sharing their own stories and resources, or participate in the various Suicide Prevention Month and Recovery Month activities happening throughout the entire month. Together we can find hope, resilience and recovery. 

This year’s theme is  “Stronger Together.” Studies confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that connectedness is an important protective factor overall for suicide and that connectedness between individuals can lead to increased frequency of social contact, lowered levels of social isolation or loneliness, and an increased number of positive relationships. 2020 has been a year of unprecedented challenge, and yet we have seen how communities can come together in innovative and supportive ways.

To show your support for these observances:

  1. Attend any of the free events happening throughout the month in honor of:
    1. Suicide Prevention Month: Calendar of Events Flyer | Most current event updates here
    2. Recovery Month: www.vorsmc.org/recovery-happens   
  2. Know the Signs for Suicide.  Learn how to recognize suicide warning signs, find the words and reach out for help at www.suicideispreventable.org

#BeTheOneSMC to reach out and connect with someone you know.

Mini-Grants & Call for Events – Applications Due Wed, Aug 26 | 2020 Suicide Prevention Month

SPMMiniGrantEventsFlyer

September is Suicide Prevention Month (SPM), which includes National Suicide Prevention Week (September 8-14) and World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10). SPM aims to empower everyone in the community to prevent suicide.

For 2020, San Mateo County and partners are promoting the theme of “Stronger Together” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms that studies show that connectedness is overall an important protective factor for suicide and states, “[c]onnectedness between individuals can lead to increased frequency of social contact, lowered levels of social isolation or loneliness, and an increased number of positive relationships.” 2020 has been a year of unprecedented challenge, and yet we have seen how communities can come together in innovative and supportive ways.

Each year, the San Mateo County Behavioral Health & Recovery Services Office of Diversity & Equity and Suicide Prevention Committee publishes web page of events which promotes the SPM events broadly across local providers, partners and community in San Mateo County. We will also be offering mini-grants for selected recipients.

  • Apply for Call for Events & Mini-Grant: If you would like your event listed on the web page AND to be considered for a mini-grant, please complete this application by Wednesday, August 26th.
  • Apply for Call for Events ONLY: If you would like your event listed on the web page ONLY (NO mini-grant), please email Zena Andreani (zena.andreani@star-vista.org) no later than Friday, August 28th.

SPM event details and updates will be posted at http://www.smchealth.org/SuicidePrevention.

Job Opportunity: Volunteer Coordinator at Star Vista Crisis Intervention & Suicide Prevention Center

StarVista CISPC has been the only 24-hour suicide and crisis hotline in San Mateo County. This telephone-accessed service is staffed 24-hours a day, 365 days a year through a combination of paid staff and over 50 trained volunteers. The Center is both a critical first point of contact for people in need of referrals to social services and a last resort for people on the brink of suicide to reach out for help.

The volunteer coordinator will be responsible for maintaining the crisis line and its volunteer program, as well as assisting with the development of the new crisis text services to youth that will begin in August 2020.

Job Title: Volunteer Coordinator
Hours: Full-time, 40 Hour/week
Program/Department: Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Center
Salary/Status: DOE, Exempt 40 hours a week.
Availability: **Position to start August 1. Ideal candidate can participate in training sessions Tues/Thurs (6-9pm) in July.**

To Apply:
Please e-mail resume and cover letter of why you are interested in this position to zena.andreani@star-vista.org

For more information, please click here.

Call for Digital Art by Suicide Survivors | Due Sunday, August 23, 2020

SP Roadmap Art

To Suicide Loss and Attempt Survivors,

The Suicide Prevention Committee invites you to submit a digital form of your art piece that may be included in San Mateo County’s Suicide Prevention Roadmap 2020-2025. We hope this form of expression is healing and empowering for you and our community that is dedicated to preventing suicide.

More details below about this Call for Digital Art’s submission guidelines, eligibility and art guidelines. 

 Whether you decide to participate or not, we honor your loss, your grief and your story.

 Wishing you well,
Suicide Prevention Committee

 If you or someone you know is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, please reach out for 24/7 confidential crisis support:

  • Call (650) 579-0350 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Text “BAY” to 741-741

CALL FOR ART DETAILS

Please submit survey and art work at surveymonkey.com/r/SPRoadmapArt2025 by Sunday, August 23, 2020.

Eligibility: Those submitting art work are required to:

  • Have lived experience as a suicide loss or attempt survivor
  • Live or work in San Mateo County
  • Sign a media release that allows San Mateo County to publish images and descriptions of submitted art work

Art Guidelines

  • Paintings, photos, poems and quotes are welcome
  • Some forms of art (e.g. paintings, photos) may need to be submitted in the form of an image
  • If any images are submitted, images with high resolution and proper lighting are preferred
  • Art work should be appropriate for audience of all ages
  • Art work is encouraged to focus on messages of hope, resiliency & recovery
  • Selected art work will receive $30 gift card and be included in the Suicide Prevention Roadmap 2020-2025

For more background and details, please see Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

  1. I am looking for more immediate help for someone considering suicide or at-risk of suicide. What should I do?If you or someone you know is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, please reach out for 24/7 confidential crisis support:1-800-273-TALK (8255) – National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    650-579-0350 – Star Vista’s Crisis Hotline (San Mateo County)
    ​Text “Bay” to 741741 – National Crisis Hotline

    For physical/mental health emergencies that need an immediate response, call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest emergency room>

    When calling 911 for mental health emergencies, refer to the guidelines for calling police to find out how to prepare and what to expect at smchealth.org/mh911. One main tip is to request for a Crisis Intervention Trained Officer (CIT).

    Local psychiatric emergency services including the following facilities:

    San Mateo Medical Center | 650-573-2662
    222 West 39th Avenue, San Mateo, CA 94403

    Mills-Peninsula Medical Center | 650-696-5915
    1501 Trousdale Drive, Burlingame, CA 94010

    For additional resources, including population-specific or non-crisis resources, please visit smchealth.org/SuicidePrevention.

  2. If I submit an art piece, will it be guaranteed that my art piece will be included in the San Mateo County Suicide Prevention Roadmap 2020-2025?We do not guarantee that all submitted art pieces will be selected to receive a $30 gift card included in the San Mateo County Suicide Prevention Roadmap 2020-2025. Some art pieces may be selected for other forms of publication or uses.
  3. Where can I find more suicide prevention resources? For more suicide prevention resources, please visit smchealth.org/SuicidePrevention. The website includes the following information:
    • What to do in a crisis
    • How to support someone
    • Suicide Prevention Month
    • Suicide Prevention Committee
    • Additional Resources – by region, subgroups and topics
  1. How can I get involved with suicide prevention efforts in San Mateo County?You can join our Suicide Prevention Committee which provides oversight and direction to suicide prevention efforts in San Mateo County. The coalition is open to the public and we welcome a diversity of stakeholders. The committee currently meets virtually the 1st Tuesday of the month 1:30.To stay connected or to get involved, please reach out to SPC Co-Chairs:

    Sylvia Tang, Community Health Planner
    Office of Diversity and Equity, San Mateo County Behavioral Health & Recovery Servces
    stang@smcgov.org | 650-578-7165

    Zena Andreani, Program Manager
    Star Vista Crisis Intervention & Suicide Prevention Cetner
    zena.andreani@star-vista.org | 650.579.0359 x 25

  2. How can I submit input for the Suicide Prevention Roadmap?Please visit bit.ly/SPRoadmap2025 for more information. Input is due Sunday, August 23, 2020.

Call for Public Input on County Suicide Prevention Roadmap | Due August 23, 2020

SP Roadmap Public Input 2025

You may send input (and questions) for the Draft Suicide Prevention Roadmap 2020-2025 by Sunday, August 23 in one or more of the following ways:

For more background and details, please see Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below.

 If you or someone you know is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, please reach out for 24/7 confidential crisis support:
          Call (650) 579-0350 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
          Text “BAY” to 741-741

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. I am looking for more immediate help for someone considering suicide or at-risk of suicide. What should I do?

    If you or someone you know is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, please reach out for 24/7 confidential crisis support:

    1-800-273-TALK (8255) – National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    650-579-0350 – Star Vista’s Crisis Hotline (San Mateo County)
    ​Text “Bay” to 741741 – National Crisis Hotline

    For physical/mental health emergencies that need an immediate response, call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest emergency room.

    When calling 911 for mental health emergencies, refer to the guidelines for calling police to find out how to prepare and what to expect at org/mh911. One main tip is to request for a Crisis Intervention Trained Officer (CIT)

    Local psychiatric emergency services including the following facilities:

    San Mateo Medical Center | 650-573-2662
    222 West 39th Avenue, San Mateo, CA 94403

    Mills-Peninsula Medical Center | 650-696-5915
    1501 Trousdale Drive, Burlingame, CA 94010

    For additional resources, including population-specific or non-crisis resources, please visit smchealth.org/SuicidePrevention

  2. What is a roadmap?

    The San Mateo County Suicide Prevention Roadmap is the county’s strategic plan for suicide prevention. This plan includes strategic aims, goals, objectives, data, resources and more information to help direct and prioritize our suicide prevention efforts for our county.

  3. What are some tips on how to give an effective public input?

    You can check out the How to Give Public Comment quick tips- adapted from CAMHPRO’s Delivering the ABC’s of Advocacy training.

  4. How do I submit public input?Please see above flyer and description for updates and details.
  5. Where can I find more suicide prevention resources?

    For more suicide prevention resources, please visit smchealth.org/SuicidePrevention. The website includes the following information:

    • What to do in a crisis
    • How to support someone – who may be at risk of suicide
    • Suicide Prevention Month
    • Suicide Prevention Committee
    • Additional Resources – by region, subgroups and topics

6. How can I get involved with suicide prevention efforts in San Mateo County?

You can join our Suicide Prevention Committee which provides oversight and direction to suicide prevention efforts in San Mateo County. The coalition is open to the public and we welcome a diversity of stakeholders. The committee currently meets virtually the 1st Tuesday of the month 1:30.

To stay connected or to get involved, please reach out to SPC Co-Chairs:

Sylvia Tang, Community Health Planner
Office of Diversity and Equity, San Mateo County Behavioral Health & Recovery Services
stang@smcgov.org | 650-578-7165

Zena Andreani, Program Manager
Star Vista Crisis Intervention & Suicide Prevention Center
zena.andreani@star-vista.org | 650.579.0359 x 25

Free Webinar: Suicide Prevention 101 for Parents

Register for a free webinar, “Suicide Prevention 101 for Parents: Recognizing Signs and What to Do”

This webinar will provide info for parents on warning signs for suicide, how to have a conversation with their teen, actions to take if their teen is having suicidal thoughts, and resources.

To Register:
English: June 18, 12PM-1PM
Spanish: June 18, 6:30PM-7:30PM

Downloadable Flyers:

San Mateo County Launches 2020-2025 Suicide Prevention Strategic Planning

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and suicide rates have increased in nearly every state (including California) from 1999 to 2016. While San Mateo County’s suicide rate is lower than the national and state average (ranking second to the lowest county rate in California), San Mateo County is committed to continue advancing suicide prevention and saving as many lives possible.


The San Mateo County Suicide Prevention Committee (SPC) is a collective of passionate suicide prevention advocates, including behavioral health/social service providers, law enforcement, local crisis hotline (StarVista), transportation agency (Caltrain), suicide attempt survivors and suicide loss survivors. Founded in 2010, the SPC is dedicates to its mission of providing oversight and guidance for suicide prevention efforts in San Mateo County.

From about October 2019 through August 2019, SPC will conduct the 2020-2025 San Mateo County Suicide Prevention Strategic Planning process. San Mateo County’s suicide prevention strategic plan will build off of the 2017-2020 San Mateo County Suicide Prevention Roadmap, California Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan (draft in progress) and National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. This strategic plan will also be shaped by public health and health equity frameworks which aim to advance health of people, communities, environments and society. For more details on the strategic planning steps and timeline, please visit smchealth.org/SuicidePrevention.


You can Get Involved by taking one or more of the following steps:

  1. Join SMC Suicide Prevention Committee. You can just join our mailing list to stay in the know or attend our monthly meetings which usually are on the 1st Tuesday of the Month 1:30-3pm at the Department of Housing – Jupiter Room, 264 Harbor Blvd, Belmont. To join, please reach out to SPC Co-Chair Sylvia Tang at stang@smcgov.org or 650-578-7165.

  2. Share your feedback on the process or strategic plan by reaching out to SPC Co-Chair Sylvia Tang at stang@smcgov.org or 650-578-7165.

This program is coordinated by the Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) at the San Mateo County Health, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services and funded by Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63).

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