Suicide Prevention Week 2020

This year, in support of National Suicide Prevention Awareness Week, World Suicide Prevention Day and National Recovery Month, all held in September, we are encouraging a special focus on the intersection between suicide prevention, alcohol and drug use and efforts that foster resilience and recovery. This activity guide is intended to help organizations across California with planning and implementation of Suicide Prevention Week activities.  For additional support and questions, please email [email protected]

To get started please review the 2020 Suicide Prevention Kit Overview Activity Tip Sheet

If you are in emotional distress please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255.  Trained counselors are available 24/7.

For a collection of mental health resources during COVID-19 please visit the Each Mind Matters Resource Center here.

The resources below have been grouped into the following sections:

  • Suicide Prevention Week Tools for the General Public, including a proclamation, social media posts, posters and drop-in articles.
  • Activities including the new Trivia Game, the new Heart Installation Activity, the annual Coffee Sleeve/Coaster Activity, and the Lotería /Bingo Game Activity
  • Suicide Prevention and Substance Use, including emails, drop-in articles, and activities for Alcohol and Drug Providers and the Restaurant Industry
  • Suicide Prevention and Children: Building Resilience Through Social Emotional Learning
  • Messaging and Working with the Media
  • Suicide Prevention Resources from the Know the Signs Campaign
  • Self-Care Resources

Suicide Prevention Week Tools – General Public

The Know the Signs (KTS) campaign and the Suicide Prevention Week Toolkit provides effective ways to promote suicide prevention throughout communities. The campaign and kit encourages community members to know the warnings signs for suicide, find the words to offer support to someone, and reach out to local resources. The activity guides below provide information, as well as suggested activities for local activation during Suicide Prevention Week 2020 and beyond. Resources and suggested activities can be used throughout the year, not just during Suicide Prevention Week!

  • Use these 11×17 posters to promote Suicide Prevention Week and Suicide Prevention Resources. The posters are also available without the Suicide Prevention Week title so you can use them throughout the year.  View and download them here.
  • Suicide Prevention Week zoom backgrounds to support your engagement efforts and meetings during Suicide Prevention Week. 
  • Post and tweet! Use pre-written Facebook and Twitter posts and graphics. A selection of social media posts are also provided in Spanish. Refresh yourself on some helpful guidelines when posting about suicide prevention on social media.

A NEW collection of Know the Signs suicide prevention social media and digital resources.  These include both static images, animated posts and videos that you can share through your own social media channels.

  • You can preview all available files here.
  • You can download them here.
  • Participate in the Suicide Prevention Week Email Campaign and encourage staff, providers and community partners to know the signs, find the words and reach out within their own networks.  These daily emails can be customized with your logo and local information.

Trivia Game (New!)

Trivia is a social game in which teams are asked questions about different topics and they have to get as many correct answers and points as possible. Utilize this trivia game as part of events, community outreach or with a group of friends and family to learn more about mental health, substance use and suicide prevention.  Provided as an in-person, as well as a virtual format this trivia game can be shared with schools and partner agencies for a fun, but educational activity for all to enjoy.

This game is available in English and Spanish. View the instruction sheets below to learn how to play the game and how to host a virtual Trivia event. 

  • Each Mind Matters Trivia Game – Virtual Activity Guide (English / Spanish)
  • Each Mind Matters Trivia Game – Virtual Game PowerPoint (English / Spanish

The following items can be downloaded from the Each Mind Matters Resource Center:  

  • Each Mind Matters Trivia Game – Instructions (English/Spanish)
  • Each Mind Matters Trivia Game – Suicide Prevention Questions  (English/Spanish)
  • Each Mind Matters Trivia Game – Mental Health Questions  (English/Spanish)
  • Each Mind Matters Trivia Game – Substance Use Questions (English/Spanish)

Heart Installation Wall (New!)

Suicide Prevention Week and Recovery Month both provide an opportunity for individuals, organizations and communities to join their voices and broadcast the message that suicide can be prevented, and recovery is possible. A fun and meaningful way to create awareness is to write messages of support that, when assembled together, create the shape of a heart.

Share this activity with community organizations and partners, or do this your own home. Don’t forget to take pictures and post to social media tag @EachMindMatters and use the hashtags #EachMindMatters and #SanaMente.  

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 (English/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 and everything you need can be downloaded in the EMM Resource Center here.

  • Lotería Reconozca las Señales – Instructions 
  • Lotería Reconozca las Señales – English Cards
  • Lotería Reconozca las Señales – Tarjetas
  • Lotería Reconozca las Señales – Boards/Tableros
  • Customizable loteria/bingo boards

Suicide Prevention and Substance Use

Research has shown that there’s a strong co-morbidity and overlap among risk and protective factors for substance use and suicide.  Further, for those working in the culinary or restaurant industry, there’s consistent reports of mental health issues, particularly, depression, anxiety and substance use.  The provided data briefing below provides an overview of data and research, as well as opportunities for collaboration with alcohol and other drug (AOD) providers and the restaurant industry.

Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Treatment Providers as Partners in Suicide Prevention

All of these resources can be downloaded from the EMM Resource Center here.


Ways to Get Involved: 

  • Invite AOD providers to participate in suicide prevention gatekeeper trainings, or if you are an AOD provider, request a suicide prevention presentation or training from your local county behavioral health agency. 
  • Ask AOD providers to share information about suicide prevention in their publications and on social media.  
  • Ask AOD providers to post one or more of the ‘Know the Signs’ posters in their building.  These can be downloaded for free at 
  • Share the educational (and fun!) suicide prevention activities created by Each Mind Matters with AOD providers to host a game night.  Available activities include Bingo/Loteria and Trivia.  


SAMHSA: TIP 50: Addressing Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in Substance Abuse Treatment  

This manual offers comprehensive guidelines for working with suicidal adults living with substance use disorders including risk factors, warning signs and clinical practices. The Quick Guide For Clinicians is based on TIP 50.  

SAMSHA: Safety Planning Guide: A Quick Guide for Clinicians used in conjunction with the safety plan template,  provides guidance on how to lead a patient who is at high risk for suicide through the development of a safety plan.  

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC), funded by SAMHSA, provides technical assistance, training, and materials to increase the knowledge of professionals serving people at risk of suicide. The SPRC Substance Abuse Treatment page includes many useful resources.

Restaurant Industry as Partners in Suicide Prevention

All of these resources can be downloaded from the EMM Resource Center here.



I Got Your Back: A collaborative effort across several restaurants in the Sacramento area that is working to change the culture around mental health. Components include training, confidential online screening tools, and encouraging help-seeking through training peer counselors and promoting local resources.

Fair Kitchens is a movement to inspire a culture of wellness within the restaurant industry. Fair Kitchen’s website includes solutions to achieve a culture of wellness, such as mental health trainings for chefs and mental health guides. In addition, chefs across the world are featured in personal video stories where they share about their own principles of wellness and mental health.

A Balanced Glass, is a forum that offers insights, learnings and tips to support the physical and mental health and wellness of wine professionals around the world. 

The California Restaurant Association offers advocacy and guidelines for best practices in the restaurant industry, including staff wellness and health.

Ways to Get Involved:

  • Learn about restaurant initiatives that might be happening in your county or bring one to your county. 
  • Offer to partner with restaurants to launch a campaign using Each Mind Matters and Know the Signs materials and toolkits to promote wellness, stigma reduction, and suicide prevention amongst restaurant staff and leadership. 
  • Ask local restaurant or restaurant associations to share suicide prevention information in their staff communication, post Know the Signs posters in their common areas, and share social media posts during September and throughout the year. 
  • Connect with restaurants in your area to offer suicide prevention gatekeeper trainings for employees and leadership. Contact individual restaurants or reach out to the California Restaurant Association to ask about chapters in your area. 
  • Partner with a local restaurant to host a Trivia night.

Suicide Prevention and Children:  Building Resilience Through Social Emotional Learning

Research has found that the skills and strategies that children and teens gain through social and emotional learning increase protective factors and reduce risk factors associated with suicide. The data briefing below provides an overview of data, research and ways in which to partner with parents and educators. 


Yolo County Talk+Play = Connect: Yolo County Children’s Alliance has developed this toolkit for families with information about talking and playing with children. The kit has tip sheets that include talking tip, general playing ideas and various activities for every childhood stage: baby, toddler, school-age and teenager.  

Yolo County Self Care Guide for Parents: Published by Yolo County Children’s Alliance, this self-care guide is a valuable resource for parents on the importance of taking care of oneself. 

Grounding Techniques: Utilized to build the social and emotional learning competency of self-management, grounding techniques have been found to help children, youth and young adults self regulate their emotions. These exercises can be taught both in the classroom setting, via distance learning and with parents at home. The Waterford organization, provides the following grounding techniques to try with children: 

  • Name five different things you can see around the room. 
  • Listen to energetic or relaxing music for one minute. 
  • Hold an object in our hands and focus on the color or texture. 
  • Take ten deep breaths, counting each one as your chest rises. 
  • Eat a piece of fruit and choose three words that describe the taste. 

The National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health also provides a variety of exercises for grounding, emotional regulation and relaxation for children and their parents. 

Social and Emotional Learning Activities – Distance Learning and Classroom: These free social and emotional learning boards encourage youth grades 4th – 8th to practice the core social and emotional learning principles over four weeks plus. Children can choose from 36 unique activities, or complete them all, which include journaling, responding to prompts, discussion topics with others and drawing.

Diversity Story Time: Teaching diversity at home and in the classroom is an essential component of the social and emotional learning principle of social awareness. Teachers and parents are recommended to try to pick books about people of different cultures, race/ethnicities, religions and other backgrounds.

  • It’s Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr
  • Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
  • The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler & David Lee Csicsko
  • Families, Families, Families! by Suzanne Lang

Additional Suggestions for Younger Children : 

  • The Colors of Us by Karen Katz
  • Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester
  • The Skin I’m In: A First Look at Racism by Pat Thomas
  • Sesame Street’s “We’re Different, We’re the Same” by Bobbi Jane Kates
  • Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story about Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard
  • I Am Enough by Grace Byers
  • Happy in Our Skin by Fran Manushkin and Lauren Tobia
  • Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford and Ekua Holmes
  • Daddy Why Am I Brown?: A healthy conversation about skin color and family by Bedford F. Palmer
  • A Terrible Thing Happened by Margaret Holmes
  • Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi
  • Teach Your Dragon About Diversity: Train Your Dragon To Respect Diversity by Steve Herman

Additional Suggestions for Teens: 

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson
  • This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do The Work by Tiffany Jewell and Aurelia Durand
  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Dear White People by Justin Simien
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning by Jason Reynolds and Dr. Ibram X. Kendi

Additional Suggestions for Adults and Parents: 

  • Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America by Jennifer Harvey
  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Uluo
  • Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum PH.D
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisis Coates
  • An African American and Latinx History of the United States by Paul Ortiz
  • An Indigenous People’s History of the United State by Rozanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Additional Resources:

California Social and Emotional Learning Community of Practice, is a partnership with Sacramento, Orange, and Butte Counties to build capacity within County Offices of Education. For more information contact, Dr. Lucy Vezzuto at [email protected] or Brent Malicote at [email protected]

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 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.

Suicide Prevention Resources from the Know the Signs Campaign

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.

  • Visit and promote the campaign websites available in English and Spanish.
  • Play “The Rock” – a 30 second radio spot while callers are placed on hold to local 2-1-1 or county access lines or reach out to a local radio station. The spot can be customized.
  • Play “Reconozca Las Señales” – a 30-second radio spot while callers are placed on hold to local 2-1-1 or county access lines or reach out to a local radio station. The spot can be customized.
  • View all suicide prevention materials and resources that are available for free download from the Each Mind Matters Resource Center at
  • Share resources with diverse communities in your community.

For additional resources for populations at disproportionate risk for suicide, please visit these collections: Men, First Responders, Older Adults.

Self-Care Resources

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. A range of self care resources can be downloaded on the EMM Resource Center here.  The UB School of Social Work’s Self Care site provides a Self-Care Starter Kit with valuable resources.

Self-Care and Well-Being (During COVID-19) Postcard

Share this graphic (8.5 by 5.5) with staff and clients and encourage them to hang it by their desk as a reminder to practice self-care.