Suicide Prevention

Accelerating strategies to prevent suicide and suicidal behavior

Striving for Zero

Suicide in California remains a significant public health challenge. In 2020, 4,075 Californians lost their lives to suicide, according to federal statistics.

There is hope. The evidence for effective suicide prevention practices is growing every day. Guided by data and community input, the Commission developed a statewide strategic plan for suicide prevention that incorporates the latest information and evidence to guide state and local actions for saving lives.

“Suicide is a devastating public health challenge, with many of us likely to experience the loss of a loved one to suicide at some point during our lives. We all play a role in preventing suicide. Being aware of the warning signs associated with suicide and initiating compassionate conversations with people at risk can be life-saving.”
Tina Wooton

Commissioner and Project Chair, MHSOAC

Goal/Opportunity

This project aims to develop a strategic plan to align local and regional efforts with state priorities in delivering best practices for suicide prevention.

The project has already produced a comprehensive strategic vision for preventing suicide and suicidal behavior based on community guidelines and the latest science.

The state’s approach follows the public health model, which is characterized by four repeating steps:

  1. defining the problem
  2. identifying the factors that increase or lower risk
  3. developing and evaluating prevention interventions, and
  4. implementing interventions and disseminating results to spread knowledge of effective interventions.

Background

Assembly Bill 114 directed the Commission to develop a statewide strategic suicide prevention plan. In early 2018, the Commission formed a Suicide Prevention Subcommittee that included Commissioners Tina Wooton (Chair), Khatera Tamplen, and Mara Madrigal-Weiss.

The Commission adopted Striving for Zero: California’s Strategic Plan for Suicide Prevention, 2020-2025 in November 2019. The 2020–21 Budget Act authorized the Commission to allocate $2 million over the next two fiscal years to begin implementing the plan.

Recommendations

The Commission will begin implementing Striving for Zero in several key areas:

  • Local Strategic Planning and Implementation
  • Lethal Means Reduction
  • Standardized Suicide Risk Assessment and Management Training
  • Standardized Suicide Risk Screening Training for Educators
  • Suicidal Behavior Research
  • Follow-up After Suicide-Related Services in a Healthcare Setting

Project Milestones


Project Status Reports & Updates

Suicide Prevention: Striving for Zero

California’s Strategic Plan for Suicide prevention

CA Striving for Zero Plan 2020
MHSOAC Suicide Prevention Spanish

Reach out to learn more about Striving for Zero initiatives.