Suicide is preventable. You can be the one to help.
Most people having suicidal thoughts are in a temporary, serious crisis. You can be the one to provide the support and help they need by taking three steps: know the signs of someone who is having suicidal thoughts, find the words to have a direct conversation with them and reach out for help from the many county resources available to those in crisis and their loved ones.
Whether you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, or are concerned about a loved one who might be, you are not alone. The San Mateo County community stands together to support those who are struggling, and guide them to the help they need.
For immediate help, you can call the StarVista Crisis Hotline at 650-579-0350.
What to Do in a Crisis
For emergencies that need an immediate response, call or text 9-1-1.
Refer to the guidelines for calling police during a mental health crisis to find out how to prepare and what to expect. Be sure to request a crisis intervention trained (CIT) officer.
In a crisis, you can also turn to the 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
Visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for additional phone/chat options (online chat, Spanish speakers, Veterans, deaf or hard of hearing or disaster distress line)
2. Psychiatric Emergency Services
San Mateo Medical Center
222 West 39th Avenue, San Mateo, CA 94403
Mills-Peninsula Medical Center
1501 Trousdale Drive, Burlingame, CA 94010S
See crisis services for additional resources and the related content section below.
Suicide Prevention Month
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 2019, we are partnering with libraries and community agencies in San Mateo County to promote the theme of interpersonal connectedness (positive relationships between individuals). 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.”
Each year, the San Mateo County Behavioral Health & Recovery Services Office of Diversity & Equity and Suicide Prevention Committee publishes a Calendar of Events which promotes the SPM events broadly across local providers, partners and community in San Mateo County. For the first time, we will also be offering mini-grants for selected recipients.
If you would like your SPM event listed on the printed calendar AND would like to apply for the mini-grant for your event, please complete this online application by Friday, July 12, 2019.
If you would like your SPM event listed on the printed calendar ONLY, please complete this online application by Friday, July 12, 2019.
Any events submitted after this deadline will likely not be on the printed calendar but can be posted on this website smchealth.org/SuicidePrevention.
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.
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
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 email@example.com 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 smchealth.org/bhrs/ode/CommunityEd or contact Natalie Andrade at (650) 372-8548 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get Involved in Your Community
The Suicide Prevention Committee (SPC) provides oversight and direction to suicide prevention efforts in San Mateo County. Led by BHRS, the committee is comprised of San Mateo County representatives, community based organizations, SamTrans, and other community members. The committee meets the 1st Tuesday of the month 1:30 to 3:00PM at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (1300 S El Camino Real #100, San Mateo, CA 94402) (see for details). For more information or to get involved in the SPC or other suicide prevention efforts, please contact one of the SPC Co-Chairs
Islam Hassanein, M.S., AMFT #93903
StarVista Crisis Intervention & Suicide Prevention Center
650.579.0359 x25 | email@example.com
Sylvia Tang, MPP
Office of Diversity and Equity, San Mateo County Behavioral Health & Recovery Servicse
650-578-7165 | firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteer with StarVista Crisis Hotline
Coordinate a Suicide Prevention Activity in Your Community
2017-2020 Suicide Prevention Roadmap
To address the increased need for suicide prevention in the community, San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Office of Diversity and Equity developed the very first Suicide Prevention Roadmap for San Mateo County. The 2017-2020 Suicide Prevention Roadmap offers prevention tools for community partners including behavioral health professionals, clients/consumers and family members, and community advocates and agencies. The first iteration of the Roadmap outlines programs, strategies and future plans for suicide prevention in San Mateo County.
Resources (by Region)
Bay Area Suicide & Crisis Intervention Alliance
California Suicide Prevention Program
Know the Signs
American Association of Suicidology
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Violence Prevention
Injury Control Research Center for Suicide Prevention
National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Messaging)
National Council for Suicide Prevention
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Suicide Awareness Voices for Education
Suicide Prevention (MY3) App
Suicide Prevention Resource Center
Take 5 to Save Lives Campaign
International Association for Suicide Prevention
Resources (by Population)
Active Minds (College Students)
California Youth Crisis Line (Youth 12-24 & Families)
Directing Change Program & Student Film Contest
The Trevor Project (LGBTQ Youth)
Your Life Your Voice (Youth and Families)
Center for Elderly Suicide Prevention
Friendship Line – Institute on Aging
Department of Veteran Affairs – Suicide Prevention
Veterans Crisis Line
For more info, email the Office of Diversity and Equity at ODE@smcgov.org.
For assistance in finding mental health and/or substance use services for someone who may be experiencing a mental illness and/or substance use condition, or for someone you are concerned about, call the Behavioral Health and Recovery Services ACCESS Call Center for information, an assessment and a referral based on individual needs.
TDD: (800) 943-2833
The friendship line provides counseling and support to older adults and adults living with disabilities in both crisis and non urgent situations.
800 – 971 – 0016
The Boys Town National Hotline provides 24/7 help and counseling to kids and families in crisis. Counselors are available via phone, text, email and IM.
Text VOICE to 20121
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.