In October 2011, a group of community leaders came together to look differently at our community’s mental health system of care. Driven by the closure of the County’s 24-hour mental health crisis unit, the group recognized that our ability to transform our mental health system was much greater working together than on our own as individuals, hospitals, government agencies, universities or community-based organizations.
Community Conversations around Mental Health has been working together ever since. . What started as a short-term effort has turned into a sustained and committed group of individuals across nearly every sector of our community.
So, in late 2016, when our community experienced a cluster of teen suicides, Community Conversations stepped up to facilitate an effort to form a Suicide Prevention Collaborative, to harness the passion around making a change in the suicide rate and to create a community-wide Suicide Prevention Plan. The Fresno County Department of Behavioral Health has served as the backbone organization to organize monthly meetings and has engaged three suicide prevention experts, DeQuincy Lezine, Ph.D., Noah Whitaker and Stan Collins to assist us in this endeavor.
This document is the culmination of over 18 months of dedicated effort by this group of individuals from across Fresno County who are devoted to preventing suicide in Fresno County. Now the real work begins— to implement the plan. As you read through the document, keep in mind that this plan will change over time, as we learn more, try different things and listen to those who can inform us.
We welcome your feedback, ideas and suggestions. We know that it will take each and every one of us if we are going to make a difference. Please join us!
Co-Chair, Community Conversations
Facilitator, Fresno County Suicide Prevention Collaborative
Senior Vice President, Community Engagement and Population Wellness
Valley Children’s Healthcare
Director of Behavioral Health/Public Guardian
Click the links below for pdf versions of the Suicide Prevention Plan
The Suicide Prevention Plan – pdf
The Executive Summary of the Suicide Prevention Plan – pdf