The San Diego County Office of Education is committed to supporting schools, students, and families with resources to address suicide prevention for our students. Our goal is to support the removal of barriers that impact student success.
- District and School Supports
- Resources for Teens and Parents
- Crisis Hotlines and Resources
- Apps and Web-Based Supports
- Upcoming Training Opportunities
- How to Get Involved
The BeSMART for Kids campaign focuses on education and awareness about secure gun storage and child safety. This is a free 20-minute presentation by trained volunteers, in either English or Spanish (or both) to parent or community groups. This program is for gun owners and non-gun owners alike and is non-political and non-partisan. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a presentation.
Preventing Youth Suicide: Tips for Parents and Educators (PDF) (also available in Spanish)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255)
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free, and confidential support for people in distress, prevention, and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. Find more specific resources here for youth, disaster survivors, Native Americans, veterans, loss survivors, LGBTQ+, attempt survivors, Deaf / hard of hearing / hearing loss, and ayuda en español.
San Diego Access and Crisis Line
Contact the San Diego Access and Crisis Line if you or someone you care about is experiencing a suicidal or mental health crisis and needs immediate help. Trained and experienced counselors are available to provide support, referrals, and crisis intervention. The call is free and confidential. If emergency medical care is needed, call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital.
- Crisis Line: 888-724-7240 (7 days a week, 24 hours a day)
- Live chat Monday through Friday, 4 to 10 p.m.
- TDD / TTY Dial 711
Crisis Text Line
Text "HOME" to 741741 to reach a Crisis Counselor. Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, providing access to free, 24/7 support via a medium people already use and trust.
Boys Town Hotline
Boys Town Hotline can be reached at 800-448-3000. The Boys Town National Hotline is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and is staffed by specially trained Boys Town counselors. It is accredited by the American Association of Suicidology. Spanish-speaking counselors and translation services for more than 100 languages also are available 24 hours a day. People with speech and hearing impairments can contact them via email: email@example.com.
San Diego Warm Line
San Diego residents can call the San Diego Warm Line at 800-920-9276 or 619-295-1055. Available 7 days a week 4 to 11 p.m., except holidays.
NAMI San Diego Family and Peer Support Helpline
The NAMI San Diego Family and Peer Support Helpline is 800-523-5933 or 619-543-1434. Contact the Helpline for any general information about support groups, register for classes, find resources, or speak to a friendly person who understands. The Helpline is available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Survivors of Suicide Loss (SOSL)
The Survivors of Suicide Loss (SOSL) Support Line is 619-482-0297 and has volunteers who are available to talk on the phone with you about your loss, confusion, frustration, anger, grief, or anything else you would like to talk about. SOSL also has a list of individual volunteers to call or email directly based on the type of loss (e.g., spouse, parent, child, etc.) Available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13 to 24.
- TrevorLifeLine: 866-488-7386
- Trevor Text: Text “START” to 678678
- Trevor Chat
Trans Lifeline (877-565-8860) is a hotline available in the U.S. and Canada staffed by transgender people for transgender people. Trans Lifeline is primarily for transgender people in a crisis, from struggling with gender identity to thoughts of self-harm. 7 days a week, 18 hours a day, 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.
BlackLine (800-604-5841) is a 24-hours a day, 7 days a week hotline geared towards the Black, Black LGBTQI, Brown, Native, and the Muslim community. However, no one will be turned away from this service. BlackLine is anonymous and confidential and can provide immediate crisis counseling to those who call upset, need to talk with someone immediately, or are in distress.
Disaster Distress Helpline
The Disaster Distress Helpline provides crisis counseling and support for anyone in the U.S. experiencing distress or other behavioral health concerns related to any natural or human-caused disaster, including public health emergencies. Call 800-985-5990 or text "TalkWithUs" to 66746 to get started. The Helpline offers 24/7 emotional support and if you have any medical concerns speak to a trusted healthcare provider.
"A Friend Asks"
"A Friend Asks" is a free smartphone app that helps provide the information, tools, and resources to help a friend (or yourself) who may be struggling with thoughts of suicide.
GritX is a web-based tool for supporting the mental health of adolescents and young adults by inspiring grit, finding resilience, and telling their own stories by customizing and building their own self-care toolkit.
MindShift® is a free, evidence-based mental health relief app. MindShift CBT uses scientifically-proven strategies based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to help you learn to relax and be mindful, develop more effective ways of thinking, and use active steps to take charge of your anxiety.
MY3 is an app for individuals who may be having thoughts of suicide, or who have a history of suicidal behavior. It is designed to help these individuals stay safe when they are experiencing thoughts of suicide by identifying a support system, building a safety plan, accessing important resources, getting support at times of greatest risk, and accessing the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7.
Teen Talk is a free iPhone app where teens can get support for whatever they may be dealing with from a trained teen. It is a safe, non-judgmental space where you can anonymously post your issue at any time and get support from a trained teen from 6 to 10 p.m. Call 310-855-4673 or text "TEEN" to 839863.
Virtual Hope Box
The Virtual Hope Box (VHB) is a smartphone application designed for use by patients and their behavioral health providers as an accessory to treatment. The VHB contains simple tools to help patients with coping, relaxation, distraction, and positive thinking. Patients and providers can work together to personalize the VHB content on the patient's own smartphone according to the patient's specific needs.
Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention
Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade and refer someone to help. Each year, thousands of Americans like you are saying “Yes” to saving the life of a friend, colleague, sibling or neighbor. QPR can be learned in this Gatekeeper course in as little as one hour.
As a QPR-trained Gatekeeper you will learn to:
- Recognize warning signs of suicide
- Know how to offer hope
- Know how to get help and save a life
Anyone in a position to recognize a crisis and the warning signs that someone may be contemplating suicide: parents, friends, neighbors, school staff – teachers, nurses, office personnel, counselors, psychologists, and social workers.
This training is free to attend and is offered online via Zoom.
Why Focus on Suicide Prevention
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Vital Signs report, suicide deaths have been rising in nearly every state. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth ages 10-24. For every youth who dies by suicide, an estimated 100-200 youth make suicide attempts. Emergency rooms throughout California have seen a 42% increase in adolescents seeking care for a mental health crisis from 2012 to 2018. Research shows that suicide is preventable and California is taking action.  CDC Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS), 2017.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016.
Assembly Bill (AB) 1808
AB 1808 added Section 216 to the California Education Code and provided funding to ensure school staff was prepared to identify, support, and refer middle and high school students who may be experiencing thoughts of suicide. The bill also called for the training to be offered to middle and high school students. The San Diego County Office of Education was selected as the lead to make this online training available, at no cost, to local educational agencies (LEAs) to voluntarily use as part of their youth suicide prevention policy.
To ensure that middle and high school staff are well prepared to support students, we have secured the Start online training from LivingWorks, an internationally respected organization specializing in suicide intervention skills training. LivingWorks' Start complies with AB 1808 as it is an evidence-based program consistent with the CDE's Model Youth Suicide Prevention Policy; addresses the needs of high-risk populations identified in the bill; can track aggregate, statewide usage; and can assess trainee knowledge before and after training is provided in order to measure training outcomes.
The online training will be rolled out in two stages with the first stage targeting staff so students may be supported when they take the training. The online training program will be made available to students in September 2020.
What LivingWorks' Start Includes
In as little as 90 minutes, LivingWorks' Start will prepare adults to observe student behavior to help keep them safe. The program is accessible from any computer, tablet, or smartphone with internet. It trains people to recognize when someone is having thoughts of suicide, engage with them, and intervene to connect them to further help. It is designed to develop meaningful skills through simulations and practice. After completing LivingWorks' Start, trainees will have ongoing, unlimited access to a resource and information database called LivingWorks' Connect.
How AB 1808 Supports AB 2246
AB 1808 and the LivingWorks Start online suicide prevention training provides an additional training option for districts to meet the requirements of AB 2246 that states 7-12th grade school district suicide prevention policies need to include how they are going to train their staff in suicide prevention. Therefore, districts can voluntarily choose to use LivingWorks Start as part of their suicide prevention policy.
AB 1808 Programmatic and Technical Support
- AB 1808 Virtual Meeting (April 16, 2021)
- AB 1808 Virtual Meeting (November 18, 2020)
- Living Works Youth Summit Launch Event September 15, 2020
- AB 1808 Managing LivingWorks Start Reports (July 30, 2020)
- AB 1808 Virtual Meeting (May 20, 2020)- Launching LivingWorks:
- AB 1808 Checklist for COEs
- Email Template for Districts/Schools
- AB 1808 California Department of Education Press Conference
- A one-page overview of the Online Suicide Prevention Training for California Schools
- AB 1808 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Introductory Video to LivingWorks Start
- LivingWorks Connect Manager's Guide
- LivingWorks Start Training License Request Form