Suicide Prevention

In 2013, there were 54 deaths by suicide in San Mateo County. Suicide is preventable. Help save a life by learning about warning signs of suicide, and about the help available for those who are having thoughts of suicide. 

1.  If you are in a psychiatric crisis or in a life-threatening situation:

Call 911 or  to to your nearest hospital emergency room.

2.  I am, or someone I know, is thinking about suicide. What do I do?

Call the following crisis lines available 24/7:

(650) 579-0350 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255)  
Text “START” to 741-741
Online chat available limited hours at and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

MY3 is a mobile application 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.

3.  What are the Warning Signs for Suicide?

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

Important Resources

You or someone you know might not be thinking about suicide, however, may want a caring person to talk to about specific issues, or you would rather chat online.

  • Crisis Text Line: Provides free confidential 24/7 emotional support and information to people in any type of crisis. Text “START” to 741741. Learn more at
  • Youth Website and Support Line: and are websites that 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. Call the StarVista Crisis Hotline to speak with someone directly at 650-579-0350.
  • Drug and Alcohol Helpline:  650-573-3950 –  Questions or concerns about substance use? The Helpline provides a non-judgmental place to check in and obtain support and resource information.
  • Veteran’s Crisis Line: 800-273-8255, press 1 -  for Vet’s and their family members.
  • Older Adults:  Institute on Aging Helpline: 800-971-0016,  Institute On Aging: Center for Elderly Suicide Prevention
  • LGBT National Youth Talkline: 800-246-PRIDE (1-800-246-7743) or Trevor Lifeline at 866-488-7386

Other Resources/Links

  • Mental Health Emergency - Information on how to prepare and what to expect when calling 9-1-1.
  • Families/Friends
    • Is your family member (age 18+) showing signs or symptoms of serious behavioral health challenges?  Call the Family Assertive Support Team (FAST) in San Mateo County for assistance.
    • Are you concerned about a child or youth?  A youth-focused hotline is available 24/7, to support parents, educators, counselors, doctors, coaches, and members of the community in San Mateo County. Call or text the Child and Adolescent Hotline & Prevention Program Hotline at: 1-650-567-KIDS (5437).
    • Friends For Survival - a national non-profit outreach organization open to those who have lost family or friends by suicide, and also to professionals who work with those who have been touched by a suicide tragedy. Friends For Survival, organized by and for survivors, has been offering services since 1983. All staff and volunteers have been directly impacted by a suicide death: (800) 646-7322 or (916) 392-0664,
    • NAMI San Mateo County 650-638- 0800
  • LGBTQQ Youth
  • Older Adults
  • Veterans and Family Members

Get Involved

Prevention & Early InterventionThe San Mateo County Suicide Prevention Initiative meets the 4th Wednesday of every other month. 1:30 to 3 PM.  See the BHRS Training Calendar for details or for more information or to get involved in the Suicide Prevention Initiative, please contact Sylvia Leung at 650-578-7165, or

Identified Countywide Priorities to Improve Suicide Prevention

Groups Objectives
  • Obtain more use of existing resources (PES, ACCESS)
  • Identify (mapping) county resources and outreach
Older Adult
  • Develop assessment/educational materials
  • Pilot information to specific places (primary care)
Youth/Transition Age Youth
  • Talk - seeing resources from their perspective
  • Look at education for adults re: the step before PES
Cultural Competence
  • Use existing Cultural Competency Initiatives to work on PSA
Alcohol & Other Drugs (AOD)
  • Review "best practices" for working with AOD clients; how to conduct training and focus on high risks/times
  • Create accessible support groups throughout the county
  • Tap into locations/organizations to expand resources
  • Utilize support groups as prevention/intervention for specific groups

Meeting Minutes


Youth/Young Adults