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Suicide Prevention

General information

Suicide is preventable. You can be the one to help.

Most people who experience suicidal thoughts are in a temporary serious crisis, which can be prevented with your help. It’s up to us.

Help save a life by learning about:

  • Suicide warning signs
  • How you can help
  • What to do in a crisis 
  • How you can get involved 

Suicide Warning Signs

How You Can Help

Start the conversation

Simply asking “Are you okay?” or “I’ve noticed you’ve been feeling hopeless a lot lately” can open the door to a conversation about getting help.

Make it safe at home

The majority of people who survive suicide never attempt it again. Safely storing medicines and guns (if you own them) in the home removes the opportunity for someone to act.

Download this flyer to learn more about how suicide can be prevented with the help of family, friends, the community, and County services.

You or someone you know might not be thinking about suicide. However, you or someone you know may want a caring person to chat with about specific issues. See below for resources.

Make it safe at school

The Suicide Prevention Poster for schools is a tool that can be used to help faculty and staff remember the risk factors and warning signs of students at risk of suicide.

These posters are available from San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services in partnership with the San Mateo County Office of Education free of charge and are presented to faculty and staff along with a brief training on how to identify at risk students and what to do when they have been identified.

To submit a request and schedule the brief training for your district or school site, please contact Molly Henricks, Crisis Coordinator, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services at or 650-573-2306.

Get trained to help others

Get certified in Mental Health First Aid by taking a free 8-hour public education training to help you identify and respond to mental health crises. Adult Mental Health First Aid and Youth Mental Health First Aid classes are available in English and Spanish. For more information visit or contact Natalie Andrade at (650) 372-8548 or

What to Do in a Crisis

For emergencies that need an immediate response, call 9-1-1
Guidelines for calling police during a mental health crisis.

In a crisis, you can also turn to the two resources below. 

1. Suicide Crisis Hotlines
1-800-273-TALK (8255) – National Crisis Hotline
650-579-0350 – StarVista Crisis Hotline (San Mateo County)
​Text “BAY” to 741741

2. Nearest Emergency Room. 
Psychiatric emergency services are available at:

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

Mills-Peninsula Medical Center
1501 Trousdale Drive, Burlingame, CA 94010

Get Involved

The San Mateo County Suicide Prevention Committee meets the 4th Wednesday of every other month 1:30 to 3:00PM at the San Mateo County Transit District Office (1250 San Carlos Avenue, San Carlos  CA 94070).  For more information or to get involved in the Suicide Prevention Committee, please contact Sylvia Leung at 650-578-7165 or

Resources (by Region)

StarVista Crisis Hotline
Stigma Free (Be the One) San Mateo County

California Suicide Prevention Program
Each Mind Matters
Know the Signs

American Association of Suicidology
National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Messaging)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Suicide Prevention Resource Center

International Association for Suicide Prevention
Suicide Prevention (MY3) App

Resources (by Population)

Active Minds (College Students)
Directing Change Program & Student Film Contest
ReachOut USA
The Trevor Project (LGBTQ Youth)

Older Adults
Center for Elderly Suicide Prevention
Preventing Suicide in Older Adults – Mental Health America

Department of Veteran Affairs – Suicide Prevention
Veterans Crisis Line

Related Content


Youth Website and Support Line

Provides Q&A, hotlines, referrals and chat room staffed by trained youth to provide a safe, anonymous, non-judgmental place for other youth to discuss depression, suicide, family, pressure, school, friends, cutting, identity or anything. Get support online, via text, or by phone.


Veterans Crisis Line

Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support.

1-800-273-8255 and Press 1
Text 838255
General information

Family Assertive Support Team (FAST)

Are you concerned about a family member who may be showing signs or symptoms of serious behavioral health challenges?

Call the FAST: (650) 368-3178
Spanish and Mandarin speaking capacity available.  Other languages available upon request.


Child & Adolescent Hotline & Prevention Program (CAHPP)

For information and support call or text the CAHPP hotline 24/7:

1-650-567-KIDS (5437)

Are you concerned about a child or youth?

  • Any child or youth
  • Any age
  • Any concern: behavioral, emotional, or developmental

StarVista’s new Child and Adolescent Hotline & Prevention Program (CAHPP) is a youth-focused (ages birth to 18) hotline, available 24/7, to support parents, educators, counselors, doctors, coaches, and members of the community in San Mateo County.



MY3 is a mobile app that lets you stay connected when you are having thoughts of suicide.

  • With MY3, you define your safety network and your plan to help get you through difficult times.
  • MY3 is available for FREE in the Apple App Store and Google Play.