Suicide Prevention – Reducing Access to Lethal Means Saves Lives


Commission supports implementation of a lethal means safety website, a recommendation from Striving for Zero, California’s strategic plan for suicide prevention, 2020-2025.

SACRAMENTO – As we round out National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month, the MHSOAC launches Striving for Safety, a website designed to support suicide prevention by helping limit a person’s access to means by which they may cause themselves harm.

The website contains strategies to promote safety in times of crisis and is now live with both an English and Spanish version that can be found at and

Reducing Access to Lethal Means during Times of Crisis Saves Lives

Adding time between thoughts of suicide and a person’s ability to obtain lethal means for an attempt represents a practical, lifesaving approach to preventing suicide. This website is designed to support community members to increase safety for themselves or a loved one, friend, colleague, or client when suicide risk is elevated.Striving for Safety Website Screenshot

Limiting a person’s access to means by which they may cause themselves harm is called lethal means safety, and this website provides a range of strategies to promote safety in times of crisis or in anticipation of crisis.

“This website provides practical suicide prevention strategies that families and loved ones can use while reaching out for support or services, such as the support offered through 988, the national suicide and crisis lifeline” said Ashley Mills, lead researcher and author of Striving for Zero.

Mills, currently Community Wellness Assistant Deputy Director within the Center for Healthy Communities at the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), also oversees the Office of Suicide Prevention, within the Injury and Violence Prevention Branch of CDPH.

“This resource fills a critical gap in providing our communities with lifesaving resources,” said Mills.

The State’s Office of Suicide Prevention, as well as the new Striving for Safety website promoting lethal means safety are important steps in implementing the lifesaving recommendations contained within Striving for Zero ­­— the Commission’s landmark report to the Legislature on Suicide Prevention.



About the Commission

In enacting Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act, California voters in 2014 created and charged the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission with the responsibility of driving transformational change in public and private mental health systems to achieve the vision that everyone who needs mental health care has access to and receives effective and culturally competent care.  The Commission was designed to empower the community, with members representing consumers and their families, service providers, law enforcement, educators, and employers.  The Commission puts consumers and families at the center of decision-making.  The Commission promotes community collaboration, cultural competency and integrated service delivery.  The Commission is committed to wellness and recovery, using its authorities, resources and passion to reduce the negative outcomes of mental illness and promote the mental health and wellbeing of all Californians.