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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. 

For immediate help, you can call the StarVista’s 24/7 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 Suicide Prevention Lifeline
650-579-0350 – StarVista’s 24/7 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 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

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.

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 Sylvia Tang at (650) 578-7165 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) (see 2019-2020 Meeting Schedule 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
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
StarVista Crisis Intervention & Suicide Prevention Center
650.579.0359 x25 |

Sylvia Tang, MPP
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Office of Diversity and Equity, San Mateo County Behavioral Health & Recovery Services
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