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Sunday, Sept. 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day

Tips and resources for those having a mental health crisis

For National Suicide Prevention Month this year, Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services is promoting awareness and sharing risk factors, warning signs, and supportive resources to remind individuals that suicide is preventable. Didi Hirsch is home to the nation’s first Suicide Prevention Center and serves as the lead agency for the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline in California in collaboration with 11 other regional crisis centers.

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“Suicide remains a public health crisis impacting communities across the country, but there is hope,” said Lyn Morris, LMFT and CEO of Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services. “Research shows that suicide can be prevented in many cases, and anyone can take action to help a person who may be struggling. While organizations like Didi Hirsch are always here to help, family and friends can provide critical support to loved ones if they know what to look for and speak up when they do.”

Suicide is a leading cause of death and affects people of all backgrounds, ages and ethnicities. It is a complex issue with no single cause. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that suicide rates increased approximately 36 percent between 2000 and 2021. Rates also increased by 2.6 percent between 2021 and 2022, according to the CDC. U.S. suicide rates were at an all-time high last year, with nearly 50,000 deaths attributed to suicide.



Warning signs

Warning signs for someone who may be struggling with suicidal ideation may include:

  • Talking about feeling hopeless, having no reason to live, being a burden, feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain.
  • Discussing, mentioning, threatening or planning suicide.
  • Changes in behavior.
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Giving away possessions.
  • Despairing texts or posts on social media.
  • Social withdrawal or isolation.
  • Symptoms of significant depression, irritability or anxiety.
  • Feelings of failure or shame.

How to support someone in crisis

If someone you know is experiencing any of those warning signs, here are some things you can do to support them:

  • Ask if they are thinking about suicide, listen to their answer, and take them seriously.
  • Be there, and out what and who they believe will be the most effective sources of help.
  • Help keep them safe by establishing an immediate safety plan.
  • Help them connect with resources and encourage them to contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline via call, text, or chat.
  • Call 988 for support and guidance on how to help.
  • Follow up with them to see how they are doing.

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Suicide prevention resources from Didi Hirsch

Didi Hirsch’s Suicide Prevention Center provides a variety of supportive services, including individual therapy to help those who are struggling with depression, anxiety, and/or severe stress, as well as suicide-specialized therapy and support groups for individuals and families with thoughts of suicide, attempts or loss. Additional crisis care services include new support groups for healthcare professionals and first responders. Individuals across California can access these services in person or via telehealth. Visit www.crisiscare.org for more information.

The Teen Line is a national crisis and support hotline that connects youth with highly trained teen counselors who provide confidential peer support and mental health resources. Trained teen volunteers known as “listeners” help teens clarify and validate their concerns, explore coping skills, and find resources to help. Youth can call Teen Line at 800-852-8336, text 839863, or email teenline.org/email-us.

988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline provides confidential support 24/7 for people experiencing a mental health, substance use or suicidal crisis. Call, chat, or text to connect with trained crisis counselors in both English and Spanish. Individuals can reach out for support even if they are not experiencing an immediate crisis to receive emotional support.

Data shows more individuals are reaching out for help and contacting 988 than ever before. Data from Didi Hirsch shows that California answers more 988 calls, chats, and texts than any other state.

Local Alameda resources

If you or anyone you know is struggling, the following local resources are available for a variety of issues (click on the links for details). These resources were gathered as part of a project created by members of the first graduating class of the Alameda Chamber and Economic Alliance’s Leadership Alameda program. These, and more resources in the future, can be found at BeWellAlameda.com.

  • The Family Education Resource Center (FERC): Provides free grief and crisis support, family support for those with loved ones with any type of mental health condition including substance use/recovery. Serves adults, seniors, children and teens, youth, families, LGBTQ+, couples. Free. Call 1-888-896-3372 Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • La Clinica De La Raza: Casa Del Sol: Offers assistance with mood issues (anxiety, depression, anger), habits (addiction, recovery), relationships (families, couples), and general support (grief, crisis). Cost is on a sliding scale basis. Serves adults, seniors, children and teens, youth, families, LGBTQ+, couples. Call 510-535-6200.
  • Family Paths: Offers assistance with mood issues (anxiety, depression, anger), relationships (families, couples), general support (grief, crisis). Cost is on a sliding scale basis. Serves children and teens, youth, families, LGBTQ+. Call 800-829-3777.
  • Family Caregiver Advocacy & Support Program: Offers free assistance with mood issues (anxiety, depression, anger), habits (addiction, recovery), relationships (families, couples), general support (grief, crisis), family support (for families with loved ones with any type of mental health condition including substance use/recovery). Serves adults, seniors, children and teens, youth, families, LGBTQ+, couples. Call 510-393-9275
    Monday-Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Asian Health Services Specialty Mental Health: Offers assistance with mood issues (anxiety, depression, anger), habits (addiction, recovery), relationships (families, couples), general support (grief, crisis), intensive case management (referral and linkage), medication management. Costs vary, accepts Medi-Cal and Medicare. Serves adults, seniors, children and teens, youth, families, LGBTQ+, couples. Call 510-735-3939.
  • African American Family-Focused Support: Offers free assistance with mood issues (anxiety, depression, anger), habits (addiction, recovery), relationships (families, couples), general support (grief, crisis), family support (for families with loved ones with any type of mental health condition including substance use/recovery). Serves adults, seniors, children and teens, youth, families, LGBTQ+, couples. Call 510-746-1700.
  • East Bay Intergroup, Inc – Alcoholics Anonymous (AA): Offers free assistance with addiction and recovery. Serves adults, seniors, LGBTQ+. Call the 24-Hour Helpline at   510-839-8900 (English) or 510-502-8560 (Español).
  • Narcotics Anonymous (NA): Offers free assistance with addiction, substance abuse, and recovery. Serves adults, seniors, LGBTQ+. Call the 24-Hour Helpline at 510-444-HOPE (4673).
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