Suicide & Crisis Hotline
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The 36 member Suicide Prevention Advisory Committee dedicated 6 months (December 2009-May 2010) devising a strategic plan for Santa Clara County with one goal in mind - decrease the number of lives lost to suicide. On April 28, 2010 more than 100 County residents attended the Public Forum to review and discuss recommendations on how to reduce suicide across our County. That evening witnessed dynamic community input and discussion and another opportunity for dynamic discussion is before us again.
The Santa Clara County Suicide Prevention Plan approved by the Board of Supervisors on August 24, 2010. The Advisory Committee learned that Australia was able to reduce its youth suicide rate by half over 12 years by having broad participation in its suicide prevention awareness and prevention activities. Santa Clara County knows that this is an achievable goal for our community. We all want to save lives. Please read the Executive Summary and/or the Plan. This plan includes what data and information is currently available given the current reporting requirements, as well as five recommended strategies that will allow us to reduce the number of lives lost to suicide.
(*No crisis counseling is available at this email. For assistance please call 911 and request a CIT trained officer - a law enforcement officer with additional training with mental health issues, or the Suicide and Crisis Services hotline.)
The five recommended strategies are:
- Implement and coordinate suicide prevention and intervention programs and services for targeted high risk populations
- Implement a community education and information campaign to increase public awareness of suicide and suicide prevention
- Develop local communication “best practices” to improve media coverage and public dialogue related to suicide
- Implement policy and governance advocacy to promote systems change in suicide awareness and prevention
- Establish a robust data collection and monitoring system to increase the scope and availability of suicide‐related data and to evaluate suicide prevention efforts.
On December 9, 2009 the Santa Clara County Suicide Prevention Advisory Committee (SPAC) kicked off its efforts to accomplish the following four goals:
- Create a Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan for Santa Clara County and implementation schedule
- Reduce the number of deaths from suicide
- Increase awareness of why people contemplate suicide and how to access appropriate resources.
- Monitoring using clear data
On August 24, 2010, the Board of Supervisors approved the Strategic Plan for Suicide Prevention with the following recommendations:
- Dedicate one staff person to the role of Suicide Prevention Coordinator and Liaison to the state’s Office of Suicide Prevention, to be paid with Mental Health Services Act funds;
- Move forward with consolidating the Suicide and Crisis Services Hotline (SACS) into one toll-free number, provided that all incoming calls can be traced for cases of threat to life or limb; and
- Create a death review panel to better understand the circumstances surrounding all suicides in our county.
All materials discussed and presented at the meetings are available through the link below.