Suicide Prevention Week 2019

In support of National Suicide Prevention Awareness Week (September 8-14, 2019) and World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10), Each Mind Matters: California’s Mental Health Movement is excited to provide the 2019 Suicide Prevention Activation Kit.

The theme of this year’s activation kit is Finding Purpose: Taking Care of Ourselves and Others. Having a sense of purpose in life is truly powerful, it enhances resiliency in the face of challenging circumstances and helps us keep going when things are tough.

Suicide Prevention Tools – General Public

The Know the Signs (KTS) campaign is an effective way to promote suicide prevention in your community. The campaign encourages community members to know the warning signs of suicide, find the words to offer support to someone, and reach out to local resources.

  • View all suicide prevention materials and resources that are available for free download from the new Each Mind Matters Resource Center at EMMResourceCenter.org.
  • Share the Suicide Prevention Activity Tip Sheet for ideas to use statewide resources to augment your activities and communications around Suicide Prevention Week and beyond.
  • Share these drop-in articles for placement in newsletters, blogs and local media.
  • Work with your board of supervisors to issue a Proclamation for Suicide Prevention Week. A template is provided in the toolkit.

Messaging and Working with the Media

  • When crafting your messages about suicide prevention, take a second look and make sure they align with safe and effective messaging recommendations by reviewing our Messaging Matters tip sheet.
  • The National Action Alliance Framework for Successful Messaging is a great starting point for strategizing your suicide prevention messaging. Learn more at SuicidePreventionMessaging.org or listen to the recording of the Each Mind Matters webinar: Messaging About Suicide Prevention.
  • Whenever you reach out to or respond to local news, share these recommendations for reporting on suicide. And be sure to review the Making Headlines guide for tips to work with the news media.

Coaster and Coffee Sleeve Activity

Suicide Prevention Week is an opportunity to emphasize that everyone can play a role in suicide prevention. View the Activity Tip Sheet (available in English and Spanish) and reach out to local businesses in your community. A supply of coasters and coffee sleeves can be requested from [email protected] (while supplies last).

  • Ask a local coffee shop to use the Know the Signs branded coffee sleeves.
  • Ask local restaurants and bars to hand-out the Know the Signs branded coasters.
  • Share a Know the Signs poster and brochure for additional information and share why suicide prevention matters and how everyone can play a role.

Lotería Activity

Lotería or Bingo is a recognized fun filled social activity and can be a great way to increase awareness and resources about mental health and suicide prevention. The Reconozca Las Señales Lotería provides information about mental health and suicide prevention.

Share with schools and partner agencies. The game can be played as part of a school mental health event for Spanish speaking parents or as part of a parent workshop session in a health center or clinic focusing on Spanish speaking community.

The game is available in English and Spanish. View the instruction sheet below to learn how to play the game and how to download materials.

  • Lotería Reconozca las Señales – Instructions  (PDF)
  • Lotería Reconozca las Señales – English Cards (PDF)
  • Lotería Reconozca las Señales – Tarjetas (PDF)
  • Lotería Reconozca las Señales – Boards/Tableros (Eng PDF) (Span PDF)
  • Customizable loteria/bingo boards (Eng Word) (Span Word)

First Responders

Self Care Resources

 “Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.”

– Katie Reed

Self-care is not an elective pastime in our free time, but rather should be a priority along with other important elements of our life. Taking the time and intentionally caring for our whole self – body, mind and soul – will keep us energized and mentally well. This is especially important for professionals in fields dedicated to helping and caring for others.

The best way to practice self-care is to develop a self-care plan specifically designed and tailored just for you. Everyone will differ in what they need to feel re-charged and cared for. The important part is to include activities and practices that nourish whole health and that contain both maintenance and emergency care routines.

Drop-In Article “Self-Care: Loving Ourselves” (200 words)

Use the drop-in article to share information in community and staff newsletters.

Self-Care and Well-Being Poster and Postcard

Share this graphic (available in two sizes) with staff and clients and encourage them to hang it by their desk as a reminder to practice self-care.

Share these inspiration quotes via social media

  • “Out of clutter, find simplicity. From disorder, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein 
  • “Life is only available in the here & now. The past is already gone, and the future is yet to come…there is only one moment for me to live…The present moment.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
  • “Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.” – Seneca

Self-Care Toolkit

The UB School of Social Work’s Self Care site which provides a Self-Care Starter Kit with valuable resources.

Developing Your Self-Care Plan
Everyone’s self-care plan will be unique – you will identify maintenance self-care, practices and activities that you need in your day-to-day life, as well as emergency self-care, the strategies you can turn to in the event of a crisis. Begin creating your personalized self-care plan by taking the Self-Care Assessment.

Self-Care Assessments, Exercises and Activities
This section from the UB School of Social Work provides additional self-care resources, designed to supplement the basic self-care plan. Use these assessments, exercises and activities to get the most out of your self-care routine to promote strong well-being.

Additional Self-Care Resources
Additional self-care resources from the UB School of Social Work, ranging from readings to inspirational material, these resources will be useful as developing and following your self-care plan is a journey and work in progress. Enjoy the ride!

Other Activities and Resources

Older Adults

The Know the Signs campaign has developed these resources to help older adult suicide prevention efforts.

Activities and Resources for Schools

Schools play an important role in suicide prevention. Aside from that fact that youth spend most of their day on the school campus, schools and districts can be a conduit for bringing the community together and engaging parents. Included in the toolkit are resources to support schools in engaging staff, parents and student to raise awareness about suicide prevention. During Suicide Prevention Week or anytime this school year schools are encouraged to complete these three activities:

  • 1. Engage young people by creating a PSA about suicide prevention or by implementing a suicide prevention activity.
  • 2. Host a What I Wish My Parents Knew Event to educate parents about suicide prevention and mental health, as well as other topics their study body wish their parents knew about.
  • 3. Create a Suicide Prevention Hand-out and distribute it to all staff. A template is provided below and includes warning signs and customizable information about your schools’ referral process.
  • 4. Complete the postvention checklist for your school.

#1 The Directing Change Program & Film Contest encourages young people in grades 7-12 and/or ages 14-25 to create 60-second films about suicide prevention and mental health. Encourage young people to submit a film to the contest or host a local screening.  To view and download films and find several suicide prevention resources for schools and young people, visit DirectingChangeCA.org.

You can also customize and send out these daily emails and social media posts.

Active Minds’ Suicide Prevention Week: Active Minds wants everyone to know — a conversation can be life-changing. “Here For You” is a positive campaign for mental health awareness and suicide prevention. If you’re not sure how to start the conversation, explore Active Minds’ easy, three-step V-A-R guide on what to say and do.

#2 What I Wish My Parents Knew: A Step by Step Guide to Implement a Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Parent Event

The What I Wish My Parents Knew Step by Step Guide provides detailed information on how to replicate this event in your district.

Suicide Prevention Brochures and Tent Cards:  These resources provide the warning signs for suicide and how to offer help in several languages.  All can be found on the Each Mind Matters Resource Center. Please email [email protected] to order printed copies.

#3 Suicide Prevention One-Pager for School Staff: To address AB2246, which requires all districts and LEAs in California to implement suicide prevention policies, it is integral to provide school staff with information to raise awareness about suicide prevention. This brief handout is intended to give staff a brief overview of suicide prevention including information on warning signs, questions to ask to identify students at risk of suicide and contact information for referrals on campus. This document includes a section to be customized with referral information specific to a school site.

#4 Postvention: Responding to Suicide in your School Community: Often schools are unsure how to respond after a suicide or may engage in activities that can actually increase suicide risk among other students. It is vital that schools are prepared to respond appropriately and effectively to a suicide in the school community whether that be of a student, staff or parent. To assist schools in the development of best practice suicide “Postvention” response, we recommend reviewing the following resources.

  • After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools (2nd Edition): This toolkit assists schools in implementing a coordinated response to the suicide death of a student. Originally developed in 2011, the second edition includes new information and tools that middle and high schools can use to help the school community cope and reduce suicide risk.
  • Postvention Checklist (From SAMHSA’s Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools, Chapter 3: Postvention): This two-page document provides a 17-point checklist to support your district or school in developing an effective response to a suicide death in your school. The checklist provides guided steps and customizable sections for including contact information for engaging supports.

And a final note – as your plans for Suicide Prevention Week develop, add them to our events page, especially if the events are open to the public and/or you would like others in your county and state to know about them.