The Fresno County Board of Supervisors has formally adopted a Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan and Suicide Risk Assessment Tool, helping to provide a uniform approach and framework for addressing and preventing suicide in Fresno County.
“Suicide is a preventable tragedy that requires collaboration and meaningful action if we ever hope to reach those who are suffering and bring an end to these painful events,” says Fresno County District 5 Supervisor, Nathan Magsig. “I am encouraged that we have so many dedicated partners in our community working together to make a significant difference here in our own backyard, and lead others across the state to do the same.”
Fresno County’s Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan is the culmination of over 18 months of dedicated effort by the Fresno County Suicide Prevention Collaborative, a community-based group of individuals, hospitals, schools, universities, community-based organizations, and government agencies committed to preventing suicide in Fresno County. Under the guidance of the Fresno County Department of Behavioral Health, the Collaborative has worked to develop and implement this comprehensive, community-based, strategic suicide prevention and stigma reduction plan for Fresno County.
To ensure a comprehensive suicide prevention approach, Fresno County’s plan includes the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) as one of various recommended universal strategies for implementation. Adoption of the C-SSRS as the recommended tool for screening suicide risk utilized by all service providers in the system of care will enhance prevention efforts, care coordination and continuity of care, improve communication, and increase quality of care for those individuals who may be at risk of suicide or having suicidal ideation.
Fresno County’s Suicide Prevention Plan was finalized and shared with the Board of Supervisors in September of 2018, however the plan was never formally brought before the BOS for adoption. With this action, Fresno County becomes the first County in the state to adopt a strategic plan and risk assessment tool to address suicide prevention.
Additionally, Fresno County’s plan is directly referenced as an example in Senate Bill 331, which will require all counties that do not already have a formal suicide prevention plan to have a suicide prevention plan in place. Fresno is one of just seven counties statewide that has developed such a plan with the County’s plan being used as a model plan for other counties.
September is Suicide Prevention Month!
The Board of Supervisors has proclaimed the week of September 8-14 as “Suicide Prevention Week” in Fresno County, part of National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month that runs throughout the country.
The Fresno County Department of Behavioral Health will join with community organizations and leaders throughout the month to draw attention to raise awareness, and help to educate how we can all help to recognize warning signs and help those who may be suffering.
Keep an eye out for our green Camaro at community events this month and add your name as a pledge to help spread awareness during the month of September!
If you or someone you know is in an emergency or you suspect they may be in danger, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255).