Online Program

Preventing suicides in California: Best practices and initial outcomes

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 4:50 p.m. - 5:10 p.m.

Sarah Brichler, MEd, California Mental Health Services Authority, Rancho Cordova, CA
More Californian's die by suicide than by homicide, and 90% of these individuals have a diagnosable mental illness or substance use disorder at the time of their death1. $40 million was allocated by the voter-approved Mental Health Services Act (MHSA; formerly Proposition 63) to address this issue. Californians are preventing suicides through a multi-pronged approach that teaches the public to recognize the signs of suicide; reaches those at risk for suicide through support systems, including text, chat, and phone hotlines; expands and increases the capacity of these hotlines; and trains community members, employers, law enforcement, teachers and diverse others to recognize and respond to mental health crises. Where possible, programs leverage existing resources and work with communities to define needs, especially as they relate to cultural and linguistic populations. Panelist Sarah Bricher will describe the projects, challenges encountered and their resolutions, and the available mid-point outcomes from the independent evaluation. Examples include a discussion of the challenges of collecting hotline call information, and inconsistencies in data reporting.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe suicide prevention best practices being utilized by California's prevention and early intervention programs Describe initial outcomes of the programs

Keyword(s): Mental Health, Mental Health System

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Program Manager for the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA), and the lead staff for statewide suicide prevention efforts. Previously, I evaluated prevention programs and provided training and technical assistance to substance abuse prevention coalitions. I was the Mental Health Services Act coordinator for San Diego County during development of the Prevention and Early Intervention plan. I earned her master’s degree in Research Methods and Health Policy at the University of Virginia.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.