Office of Suicide Prevention
About the Office of Suicide Prevention | Best Practices | County News and Updates | Data Statistics and Reports | General Info | Get Involved | Media Resources and Guidelines | News and Updates | Resources | Resources for Veterans | State and Local Partnerships | Strategic Plan
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Si usted o alguien que usted conoce esta en una crisis por favor llame a la Red para la Prevención del Suicidio al 1-888-628-9454.
- The Office of Suicide Prevention (OSP) was established in 2008 by the California Department of Mental Health (DMH). In 2008, DMH published the California Strategic Plan on Suicide Prevention.
Some of OSP's primary activities include:
- Providing suicide prevention technical assistance to counties and local organizations
- Coordinating local, state and national level partners that expand suicide prevention networks in California
- Collecting, analyzing and disseminating suicide data and best practices for suicide prevention
- For more information on OSP, please file:///C|/Internet_DMH/Internet_DMH/News/Press_Releases/docs/2008/FactSheet_OSP.pdf">Office of Suicide Prevention Fact Sheet.
For any further questions, please refer to the Office of Suicide Prevention Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) which is frequently updated with new information. You may also contact OSP staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- QPR Mini-Grants for Community Capacity Building
Deadline: December 31, 2012
Amount: Grantees may receive up to 200 QPR Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention e-learning licenses during the grant year; grantees are provided with 100 licenses upon program launch plus an additional 100 licenses once the first 100 have been used and evaluated.
Eligible Applicants: For counties, tribes, parishes, community non-profit or governmental organizations dedicated to preventing suicide at the local level
Agency/Department: The QPR Institute
Summary: To date, more than one million Americans have been trained in the QPR Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention program. QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) is an evidence-based, SPRC/AFSP registered best practice program taught in classrooms by more than 5,000 certified instructors throughout the US and abroad. Advanced training for key gatekeepers (police, corrections, EMS, nurses, mental health, and healthcare providers) can be added to enhance community competence at all points of contact with persons at elevated risk of suicidal behaviors.
For detailed information go to: http://www.qprinstitute.com/grants.html
- Mental Health First Aid USA Community Implementation Challenge Grants: Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) USA is a public education program that helps the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders through a 12-hour interactive course. MHFA USA is managed, operated, and disseminated by three national authorities — the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Missouri Department of Mental Health. MHFA USA is providing financial support to selected organizations with certified MHFA instructors that wish to extend the program’s reach in their communities. For grant information and application, please visit the MHFA website.
- National Alliance on Suicide Prevention Website. The National Alliance on Suicide Prevention, launched in September 2010, unveiled their new website which will provide information and updates on the work of the Action Alliance’s Executive Committee, and the Task Forces that are charged with strengthening the nation’s suicide prevention infrastructure.
- United States Department of Health and Human Services releases their Healthy People 2020 Objectives. On December 2, 2010, Healthy People 2020 was released, which outlines an ambitious ten-year agenda for improving the nation's health, including suicide prevention.
- SAMHSA ADS Center released the 2010 Mental Illness Awareness Week Online Guide . This guide offers ideas for awareness activities in local communities, information and resources to help plan and implement initiatives, and a list of free SAMHSA materials and flyers on a wide variety of topics for easy distribution. Specific focus is given to methods of outreach in community events, schools, workplaces and faith-based communities.
- SAMHSA unveils latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health. SAMHSA released a full report on the results of the 2009 NSDUH survey, with a follow-up report specifically focusing on mental health data to be released later this year. View the SAMHSA report
- Riverside County: Riverside County Department of Mental Health has used a portion of its Mental Health Services Act funding to launch the “It’s Up to Us” campaign that is designed to empower individuals to talk openly about mental illness, recognize symptoms, utilize local resources and seek help.
- San Diego County: San Diego County has just launched a new campaign for mental illness stigma reduction and suicide prevention called “It’s Up to Us”. The It’s Up to Us campaign is also available in Spanish, and also has a website specifically for transition-age youth.
Nearly 3,300 Californians died by suicide annually (1997-2007). Suicide is a preventable tragedy; there is hope. To learn how you can help in your community, visit http://www.suicidology.org/web/guest/how-can-you-help . You can also find out more by contacting the Office of Suicide Prevention.
The California Strategic Plan on Suicide Prevention: Every Californian is Part of the Solution and an Executive Summary of the Plan are now available for download.
The Plan serves as a blueprint for action at the state and local levels to reduce suicide and its tragic consequences. It is built upon the vision that a full range of strategies – from prevention and early intervention to treatment and postvention – should be implemented that appropriately targets Californians of all ages and diverse backgrounds. While many challenges lie ahead in carrying out this work, tremendous opportunities also exist. Contact us to learn more about suicide prevention in California.
National Strategy for Suicide Prevention
The National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP) creates a framework for suicide prevention for the U.S. and provides a blueprint for action. Published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in May 2001 with leadership from the Surgeon General, it represents the combined work of advocates, clinicians, researchers, and survivors. Designed to be a catalyst for social change with the power to transform attitudes, policies, and services, the NSSP has guided the nation’s suicide prevention efforts for a decade.
Charting the Future of Suicide Prevention: was written in 2010 by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, with guidance by the National Action Alliance Planning Group. This report reviews developments in the field of suicide prevention in the nine years since the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention was published. It identifies the areas of most important progress as well as the critical areas that have gone relatively unaddressed and also explores new issues or initiatives that have emerged since the development of the NSSP in 2001.
The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention is the public-private partnership advancing the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. For more information, please visit their National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention website.
American Indian & Alaska Native National Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan 2011-2015 was developed by the Action Summit for Suicide Prevention and sponsored by the Indian Health Services. Released on August 3rd, 2011, this new five-year national suicide prevention strategic plan is based on fostering collaborations across the entire Indian Health System including tribes, tribal organizations, urban Indian organizations and other key community resources like academic disciplines with expertise in the problem. The strategic plan also mirrors, in many aspects, the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, a national initiative to reduce the impact of suicide and suicide-related behaviors.
- Warning Signs of Suicide and How You Can Help
- Risk and Protective Factors for Suicide
- To view resources for survivors and to locate a survivor support group in your area, visit http://www.suicidology.org/web/guest/suicide-loss-survivors . If you have lost someone to suicide, you are not alone. It is estimated that for every suicide there are six survivors.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention Self-Directed Violence Surveillance
To address the current lack of uniform definitions on self-directed violence (SDV), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Injury Prevention and Control released the Self-Directed Violence Surveillance: Uniform Definitions and Recommended Data Elements (Version 1.0) This document is intended for use by individuals and organizations interested in gathering surveillance data on SDV and to help promote and improve the consistency of this data. It provides uniform definitions for SDV as well as 35 recommended data elements when collecting information on SDV.
Office of Suicide Prevention County Level Data Profiles
The Office of Suicide Prevention is pleased to present county level suicide and self injury data in a user-friendly format. Currently, 2007, 2008, 2009 data is provided. Please direct any questions to email@example.com
California Department of Public Health Office of Health Information & Research (OHIR)
California Department of Public Health - Office of Health Information and Research (OHIR) produces a variety of reports and data tables on the health and well-being of Californians. These include:
- County Health Status Profiles: This annual report presents data about causes of mortality in California and its counties and includes a section on suicide data.
California Department of Public Health EPICenter
The California Department of Public Health recently launched their upgraded data website, EpiCenter. Users can create custom tables on suicides, as well as self-inflicted injuries treated in hospitals and emergency departments. Both numbers and rates are available, for dozens of combinations of age, sex, race/ethnicity, county, method, and other factors. For deaths and hospitalizations, users can develop trends going back over 15 years.
California Violent Death Reporting System
From 2005 through 2008, California was one of 17 states participating in the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS), funded by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Under NVDRS, the California Department of Public Health contracted with county health departments to collect data on violent deaths from four data sources – death certificates, coroner/medical examiner records, police reports, and crime laboratory records. During its four years of data collection, the California Department of Public Health compiled detailed information on circumstances of more than 10,000 violent deaths, including homicides and suicides in the counties of Alameda, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Shasta Counties. The CDC released a Surveillance Summary in the March 20, 2009 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: Surveillance for Violent Deaths – National Violent Death Reporting System, 16 States, 2006.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention WISQARS
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – WISQARS (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System) is an interactive database system that provides customized reports of national and state level injury-related data.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – National Center for Health Statistics
The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics FastStats Homepage provides national statistical information and other data source links which may help guide actions and policies to improve knowledge about suicide and self-inflected injury.
California Health Interview Survey
The California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) is a population-based random-digit dialing telephone survey of households in California. It has been implemented since 2001 in partnership with the University of California, Los Angeles, the Department of Health Care Services and the California Department of Public Health. In 2009, the CHIS Adult questionnaire asked one question regarding suicidal ideation. Find out more about CHIS’ survey results on suicidal ideation using AskCHIS, a user-friendly query system.
Department of Defense Suicide Event Report
The Department of Defense (DoD) Suicide Event Report (DoDSER) standardizes suicide surveillance efforts across the Services (Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and Navy) to support the DoD's suicide prevention mission. The DoDSER is used for a variety of suicide behaviors including suicides, suicide attempts, and some other suicide related behaviors (e.g., deliberate self-harm or some cases in which only suicidal ideation is documented). Each Service conducts a professional review of records and conducts interviews where appropriate.
California Crisis Calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - Data Reports
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) - is a national network of over 150 accredited crisis center hotlines in the country, which includes nine accredited crisis center hotlines located across California. Funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Lifeline is a free, 24-hour hotline service available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. All calls are routed to the caller's nearest crisis center and are answered by a trained crisis counselor. In addition, the Lifeline also operates a 24-hour crisis hotline specifically for Veterans and for Spanish-speakers.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides the Office of Suicide Prevention with bi-annual reports on the number of California-based calls to the Lifeline. There are three types of reports:
- California Call Volume by County: This report will provide county-based call volume to the general Lifeline, the Lifeline's Veterans option, and the Lifeline's Spanish option.
- California Call Volume per Crisis Center: This report will provide information regarding the number of California-based Lifeline calls to each of California's nine crisis center hotlines who are members of the Lifeline. It may also include information on two out-of-state crisis hotlines that receive California-based Lifeline overflow calls (Lifeline calls that cannot be answered within California).
- California Calls per Month: This report will summarize the number of California-based calls to the Lifeline by month over the course of a full year.
For further questions regarding the data, please contact the Lifeline staff member whose contact information is listed at the bottom of each data report.
** for accessibility issues with this document please contact SuicidePrevention@dmh.ca.gov
The Suicide Prevention Resource Center's Best Practices Registry provides information about programs and practices that have been reviewed and meet minimum specific criteria.
The National Registry of Evidence Based Programs and Practices is a searchable database of interventions for the prevention and treatment of mental and substance use disorders that is developed and maintained by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
TOOLKIT: For Rural Primary Care Providers. The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center created this toolkit to provide education and support needed to identify and address the critical needs of patients who may be at risk of suicide. The toolkit includes best practices for suicide prevention, tools for improving detection and intervention skills, guidelines for developing office protocols when suicidal patients are identified, and resources for community-based suicide prevention outreach.
TOOLKIT: Suicide Prevention among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBT) Youth - A Workshop for Professionals Who Serve Youth. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center created this free workshop kit to help staff in schools, youth-serving organizations, and suicide prevention programs take action to reduce suicidal behavior among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. Topics covered include suicidal behavior among LGBT youth, risk and protective factors for suicidal behavior, strategies to reduce the risk, and ways to increase school or agency cultural competence.
TOOLKIT: After a Suicide – A Toolkit for Schools: The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center has developed a free, online resource to help schools cope in the aftermath of a suicide. This toolkit is a highly-practical resource for schools facing real-time crises, and is applicable for diverse populations and communities. It includes general guidelines for action, do’s and don’ts, templates and sample materials, and covers topics such as Crisis Response, Helping Students Cope, Working with the Community, Memorialization, Social Media, Suicide Contagion and Bringing in Outside Help.
TOOLKIT: Promoting Emotional Health and Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for Senior Living Communities: Developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in collaboration with Education Development Center, Inc (EDC), McFarland & Associates and the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Research Institute, Inc. (NRI), this toolkit contains a guide and tools for integrating suicide prevention into existing policies and programs, a facilitator’s manual with materials to conduct three workshops, and fact sheets for residents. It recommends a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention to promote the emotional health of all residents, identify and provide services for residents at risk for suicide, and respond appropriately in the event of a suicide attempt or death.
GUIDELINES: Towards Good Practice – Standards and Guidelines for Suicide Bereavement Support Groups:
Lifeline Australia, with funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, has produced this document that provides expert guidelines for the development and facilitation of suicide bereavement support groups. The guidelines are available from Lifeline Australia at no charge.
The Office of Suicide Prevention is developing a network of state and local partnerships to promote a system of suicide prevention in California. County Liaisons with the Office of Suicide Prevention meet monthly to share information and coordinate activities statewide. A roster of county liaisons can be found here. The California Crisis Center Consortium includes ten crisis centers that operate accredited suicide prevention hotlines. A roster of crisis centers can be found here. The group collaborated with the Office of Suicide Prevention to assess the current capacity of suicide prevention hotlines in California. The report was completed in January 2011. Review the Hotline Survey report.
Madera County Regional Suicide Prevention Coordinators Meeting, October 27th 2010.
- Recommendations for Media Reporting on Suicide. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Suicide Awareness Voices of Education have developed the Recommendations for Media Reporting on Suicide, which captures the expertise of suicide prevention experts, researchers, journalists and over 50 research studies. The recommendations include common suicide warning signs, the national suicide prevention hotline number and advice on what to do if someone is at risk, so that journalists can include this information in news reports. Furthermore, the document provides concise, practical suggestions for journalists to equip them to report about suicide safely while also informing the public about this national health problem. Read the report or visit www.ReportingOnSuicide.org for more information.
- At a Glance: Safe Reporting on Suicide. This two-page guide for reporters and editors provides a list of recommendations on how to report on suicide while minimizing the risk of contributing to "copycat" suicides. In addition to offering guidelines (based upon Reporting on the Media, below), this publication includes additional resources on suicide and suicide prevention for reporters, editors, and others in the media.
Relationship between the Economy, Unemployment and Suicide
The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) has provided talking points on the relationship between the economy, unemployment and suicide. The talking points summarize what is known about these complex relationships and offers suggestions for framing this issue with news media.
- American Association of Suicidology Statement on the Economy and Suicide
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center – A comprehensive online resource that includes a best practices registry, online training, and other resources to educate communities and assist states and communities in building a system of suicide prevention.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – A toll-free Suicide Prevention hotline that operates 24 hours per day, seven days per week through a network of over 125 crisis centers nationally. The Lifeline also offers Spanish language services and services targeted for veterans and their families.
- American Association of Suicidology– Includes data and statistics, current research, training and conferences, and information for survivors of suicide and suicide loss.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Information about SAMHSA’s suicide prevention initiative including the Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention program’s campus based grants and grants to state and tribal entities.
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – National not-for-profit organization dedicated to research, education, and advocacy.
- Other Resources to Educate Communities
- Getting to Know Your Child’s College – A Checklist for Parents
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center's Best Practice Registry
- MHSA Prevention and Early Intervention Guidelines
- U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Indian Health Service Community Suicide Prevention website – Provides American Indian and Alaska Native population communities with culturally appropriate information about best and promising practices, training opportunities, and other information related to suicide prevention and intervention.
- Native American Resource Directory, Intertribal Council of California, Inc.