Directing Change



Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale
The Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) is a series of simple language questions that anyone can ask. This risk assessment tool helps users identify whether someone is at risk for suicide, assess the severity and immediacy of that risk, and gauge the level of support ht person need.

Users of the C-SSRS tool ask people:

  • Whether and when they have thought about suicide (ideation)
  • What actions they have taken — and when — to prepare for suicide
  • Whether and when they attempted suicide or began a suicide attempt that was either interrupted by another person or stopped of their own volition


Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk Training
Registry: SPRC, Best Practice Registry
Cost: $115 per participant
Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk (AMSR) Training is a one-day workshop for behavioral health professionals that is based on the latest research and designed to help participants provide safe suicide care.

Connect Project
Connect provides customized training and interaction with experts in the field of suicide prevention and postvention. Website:

MY3 App is a free app that lets people identify their network and plan to stay safe. MY3 prepares people to help themselves and reach out to others—three (3) people they feel they could talk to when they are having thoughts of suicide.

Virtual Hope Box
The Virtual Hope Box (VHB) is a smartphone application designed for use by patients and their behavioral health providers as an accesory to teatment. Tools to help patients with coping, relaxation, distraction, and postive thinking is provided on the VHB.

Suicide Survivor Speakers Bureau
The Suicide Survivor Speakers Bureau consists of people who have lost a loved one to suicide and have been trained to speak safely and effectively about their loss to the public, and to use their story of loss to deliver a message of prevention. The Bureau’s goal is to prevent suicide through the telling of their members’ stories.

Recognizing & Responding to Suicide Risk: Essential Skills for Clinicians
Cost: Varies ($80 person, additional event fees may apply)
The American Association of Suicidology offers the Recognizing and Responding to Suicide Risk: Essential Skills for Clinicians (RRSR) training. The advanced, interactive training is based on established core competencies that mental health professionals need in order to effectively assess and manage suicide risk.

“Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools” (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
This publication from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) was created to assist high schools and school districts in designing and implementing strategies to prevent suicide and promote behavioral health. It includes tools to implement a multi-faceted suicide prevention program that responds to the needs and cultures of students.

Accessing Data 

California Healthy Kids Survey
The California Health Kids Survey collects data on from students in grades 5, 7,9 and 11 about attitudes, behaviors, and experiences related to school and learning. The survey was developed in 1999 and administered on a voluntary basis by schools across California. Some questions in this section include the following:
• Seriously considered attempting suicide in the past 12 months.
• Depression Related Feelings (student reported)

Aggregated state and county data is available online from 2011 to 2013. To access state and county data go to

Reports CHKS (
Step 1: Select “Reports” from top menu
Step 2: Identify County and/or District

Query CHKS (
Step 1: Choose one of the survey topics and then type of subcategory. Four subcategories are available : 1) grade level, 2)race/ethnicity, 3) gender and grade level and 4) level of connectedness to school.

Step 2: A new page will appear in table format listing all counties and respective data. To view only a specific county, choose “customize table” and select desired county. Data can also be viewed in bar, map and pie format and downloaded (see download icon). Prior year data is available through WestEd. Please contact them at 88.841.7536. Website:

Youth Risk Behavior Survey
The Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) monitors six types of health-risk behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death and disability among youth and adults. Data is available from 1991 to 2015 for high schools and middle schools. Six health topics are covered in the survey including behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence. Questions in this section include:
• Felt sad or hopeless (almost every day or 2 or more weeks in a row so that they stopped doing some unusual activities during the 12 months before the survey
• Seriously considered attempting suicide (during the 12 months before the survey)
• Made a plan about how they would attempt suicide (during the 12 months before the survey)
• Attempted suicide (one or more times during the 12 months before the survey)
• Attempted suicide that resulted in an injury, poisoning, or overdose that had to be treated by a doctor or nurse (during the 12 months before the survey)

To access local data go to
Step 1: Select High School or Middle School status

Step 2: Select location and scroll down to “Local” and choose a city and press “GO” icon. Only information for five California cities is available: Oakland, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco.

Step 3: A new page will appear where data is displayed by all health topics surveyed. The left side bars allows for display by selected health topics and demographic criteria. Data can also be viewed in graph format (see Tab-Graph) and printed (see print icon).
Note: The YRBS data can also be downloaded for further analysis. Visit for instructions and to download data.

If you are experiencing an emotional crisis, are thinking about suicide or are concerned about a friend, call or text 988 for the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (24/7)