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Suicide Prevention


Suicide Prevention

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. We have a number of events and training opportunities planned this month for those who would like to get involved in San Mateo County’s suicide prevention efforts.

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 9-1-1
Guidelines for calling police during a mental health crisis.  Be sure to request a crisis intervention trained (CIT) officer.  See the guidelines for more info. 

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

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

For additional resources, see our related content section below.

Suicide Prevention Month – Past Events

Celebrate Suicide Prevention Month this September 2018! Check out this Calendar of Events to see how you can participate in suicide prevention efforts in our community. Please contact the event contacts for the most up-to-date information. 

Tuesday, September 4 9AM
Suicide Prevention Month Proclamation 

Board of Supervisors Chambers, 400 County Center, Redwood City
Contact: Sylvia Tang | | 650-578-7165
Meeting Details (Live Streaming Available)

Friday, September 7 12-1:30PM
StarVista Crisis Hotline Volunteer Informational Panel
Conference Room, 610 Elm St, Ste 212, San Carlos
Contact: Karina Chapa |
Download Flyer

Tuesday, September 11AM-1PM
NAMI Mental Health Support Services

Rotunda – San Mateo Medical Center, 222 W 39th Ave, San Mateo
Contact: Helene Zimmerman |

Wednesday, September 19 4-5:30PM (Drop-In Basis)
Crafternoons: Safety Boxes
San Mateo County Pride Center
1021 S El Camino Real, San Mateo
Contact: Andres Loyola |

Wednesday, September 19 6-8:30PM
S-Word Film Screening & Panel

San Mateo High School – Performing Arts Center
600 N Delaware St, San Mateo
Contact: Kristie Lui | | 650-573-5037
Download Flyer in EnglishEspañol (Spanish) and 中文 (Chinese)
Register for a chance to win an Amazon gift card. 
Panel Q&A

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

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). 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 |

Sylvia Tang, MPP
Office of Diversity and Equity, San Mateo County Behavioral Health & Recovery Servicse
650-578-7165 |

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.

2017-2020 Suicide Prevention Roadmap

Additional Resources

Resources (by Region)

Behavioral Health Community Education (Free) 
Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT)
Suicide Prevention Roadmap (2017-2020)
StarVista Crisis Hotline
Stigma Free (Be the One) San Mateo County
San Mateo County Schools Suicide Prevention Protocol 

Bay Area Suicide & Crisis Intervention Alliance 

California Suicide Prevention Program
Know the Signs

#BeThe1To Campaign
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
Zero Suicide

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
ReachOut USA
The Trevor Project (LGBTQ Youth)
Your Life Your Voice (Youth and Families)

Older Adults
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 


BHRS Access Call Center

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.

(800) 686-0101
TDD: (800) 943-2833


Institute on Aging – Friendship Line

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 


Kara Grief Support

Kara provides grief support to children, teens, families and adults. 

Open Monday to Thursday 9am – 4pm (PST) and Friday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (PST).



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.

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