Suicide Prevention Week is Sept. 9 – 15, 2018. During this week, individuals and organizations around the country join their voices to broadcast the message that suicide can be prevented, and then work to reach as many people as possible with tools and resources to support themselves and those around them. This year’s theme is “Working Together to Prevent Suicide.”

Marin County schools, the Department of Health and Human Services and Kaiser Permanente spent the summer collaborating on the development of Crisis Response Suicide Prevention and Postvention Protocols . Together, we stand in support of our students and members of our community in raising awareness about this important topic.

During Suicide Prevention Week you will receive a small sampling of available tools and resources that are designed to promote suicide prevention and wellbeing. The first of these resources is below:

Know the Signs

Learn to recognize the warning signs of suicide by visiting the Know the Signs website at www.suicideispreventable.org .

Find the Words

Check in with the people around you, especially if you notice that something may be wrong, or their behavior has changed. Avoid rushing to judgement and instead find a time to have a real conversation with them. Lead with open ended questions. Let them know you are available to listen and to help. Ask them directly if they are thinking about suicide. This can be difficult to do, but being direct provides an opportunity for them to open up and talk about their distress and will not suggest the idea to them if they aren’t already thinking about it. The “Find the Words” section of the Know the Signs website www.suicideispreventable.org suggests ways to start the conversation.

Reach Out

You are not alone in this. Before having the conversation, become familiar with some resources to offer to the person you are concerned about. If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, help is available 24/7 by calling any of the following:

o Crisis Text Line Text BAY to 741741

o Marin Suicide Prevention and Crisis Hotline (415) 499-1100

o California Youth Crisis Line 1-800-843-5200

o National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255 or text ANSWER to 839863

The link below provides for more information about how you can best help support someone in need:

https://www.suicideispreventable.org Spanish: www.elsuicidioesprevenible.org

Please share these resources widely.

Mary Jane

Mary Jane Burke

Marin County Superintendent of Schools

(415) 499-5801

@Burkemaryjane

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