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World Suicide Prevention Day
Posted 9/12/22

September 10, 2022, is recognized as World Suicide Prevention Day.  As returning to school can be a particularly stressful time, the Huntington Beach City School District (HBCSD) wants to remind all students, parents/guardians, and staff that each and every one of us can take action for suicide prevention by learning the warning signs, how to have a conversation, and where to reach out for help.

Survive and Thrive flyer

Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. With effective care, suicidal thoughts are treatable, and suicide is preventable. Common barriers to treatment include the cost of mental health care and insurance, prejudice and discrimination, and structural barriers. People experiencing mental health conditions often face stigma, which can make their journey to recovery longer and more difficult.

Learning how to cope with stigma and how to avoid and address stigma is important for all of us. Warning signs can be subtle, but they are there. By recognizing these signs, knowing how to start a conversation, and where to turn for help, we have the power to make a difference – the power to save a life.

  • Know the signs - For some, it's too difficult to talk about the pain, thoughts of suicide, and the need for help. Pain isn’t always obvious, but most suicidal people show some signs that they are thinking about suicide. The signs may appear in conversations, through their actions, or in social media posts. If you observe one or more of these warning signs, especially if the behavior is new, has increased, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change, step in or speak up.

  • Find the words - “Are you thinking of ending your life?”  Few phrases are as difficult to say to a loved one.  But when it comes to suicide prevention, none are more important.  Here are some ways to get the conversation started.

    • Step 1: Start the conversation: Ask directly about suicide.  Talking about suicide does not put the idea in someone’s head.  Asking directly and using the word “suicide” establishes that you and the person at risk are talking about the same thing and lets the person know that you are willing to talk about suicide.

    • Step 2: Listen, express concern, reassure: Let the person know you care. Validate their thoughts and feelings and underscore that living is an option for them.  Letting them know that you take their situation seriously and are genuinely concerned about them will go a long way in your effort to support them. 

    • Step 3: Maintain safety: Ask the person what will help keep them safe until they meet with a professional. If an immediate threat is present, call 911. 

    • Step 4: Get help: Acknowledging that it may be uncomfortable to talk to a counselor and offering to contact someone together can help to reduce the person’s anxiety about getting help.  

  • Reach out - You are not alone in helping someone in crisis. There are resources available to assess, treat, and intervene. Crisis lines, counselors, and intervention programs are available to you, as well as to the person experiencing the emotional crisis.

    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call or Text 988

    • Crisis Text Line: Text “HOME” to 741-741

    • Orange County Crisis Prevention Hotline: (877) 727-4747 (OC SPECIFIC)

    • The OC Warm Line: (877) 910-WARM (9276) or live chat available at   

    • Trevor Lifeline (LGBTQ+): (866) 488-7386

    • Teen Line: (800) 852-8336 or text “TEEN” to 839863 or email:

    • Centralized Assessment Team (CAT): (866) 830-6011 

HBCSD is committed to promoting staff and student emotional well-being. Together, we can foster a supportive learning environment that allows our students to not only survive but thrive.  For more information regarding social-emotional supports offered by the District or available resources, please visit the HBCSD Student Services website.