Suicide Prevention

Faculty/Staff Employee Assistance

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Employee Assistance
Counseling for UC Berkeley Faculty and Staff, and Employees of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory

Phone: (510) 643-7754
Email: 
employeeassistance@berkeley.edu

University Health Services, Tang Center
2222 Bancroft Way
Suite 3100 (3rd floor)
Berkeley, CA 94720-4300

National Suicide Prevention Week Logo of a teal and purple colored ribbon

National Suicide Prevention Week September 4th –10th 

Suicide Fact Infograph - Nearly 46,000 people died by suicide in 2020. 1 Death every 11 Minutes. 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
Image source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

If You or Someone You Know Needs Immediate Support

988 Suicide and Crisis Line offers 24/7 access to trained crisis counselors who can help people experiencing mental health-related distress.

That could be:

  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Mental health or substance use crisis, or
  • Any other kind of emotional distress

People can call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org for themselves or if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.

988 serves as a universal entry point so that no matter where you live in the United States, you can reach a trained crisis counselor who can help. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline has a Spanish Language line at 1-888-628-9454, and also utilizes a Tele-Interpreters service which supports over 150 languages.

If you or someone you know have attempted suicide, or are in need of emergency medical services, please dial 911. 988 and mobile crisis units will not replace 911 services. It is an additional emergency calling code to reduce police encounters for mental health or substance use crises.


Local Bay Area resources include mobile crisis units or mobile response teams, which are prepared to offer supportive interventions for individuals experiencing mental health crises. Information by county is provided below, however, 988 is also prepared to connect individuals with these resources if appropriate and available:

  • Alameda County (510) 891-5600 Ask for ON DUTY clinician
    Monday-Friday 8am-6pm
  • Berkeley and Albany (510) 981-5900
    Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 11:30am-10pm
  • Contra Costa (833) 443-2672
    Monday-Friday 8am-6:30pm
  • San Francisco (415) 970-4000
    Monday-Friday 8:30am-11pm & Saturday 12pm-8pm
  • Santa Clara 1-800-704-0900   24/7

If You are Concerned About a Student

Faculty and staff are in a unique position to demonstrate care and compassion for students in distress. The Gold Folder is available to help you recognize potential symptoms of distress and identify appropriate campus resources to refer students to.

image of first page of gold folder guide.

If You are Concerned About an Elder

Aging is associated with increased risks for suicide. In 2020, the suicide rates were higher among adults ages 25 to 34 years (18.35 per 100,000) and 75 to 84 years (18.43 per 100,000), with the rate highest among adults ages 85 years or older (20.86 per 100,000). The contributing factors for suicide in later ages include declining physical and mental illness, isolation, financial insecurity and grief from the death of a loved one.

Family Caregivers are also at risk as they report high rates of suicide ideation (thinking about suicide), and are at a greater risk of developing a clinical depression than their peers who are not caregivers.

In addition to the 988 Hotline, if you are concerned for yourself or a loved one, please call one of the following Bay Area agencies available 24/7:

If you are looking for ongoing therapy for an adult 65yo+, Crisis Support Services of Alameda offers in-home counseling for homebound seniors, as well as outpatient counseling; depending on the program, services are at no charge or based on your income.

How to Talk to Kids/Teens about Suicide

Parents and caregivers often struggle with knowing when and how to address suicide with children and teenagers. It is common to worry that raising this topic will lead to distress, or trigger thoughts of suicide, however research has demonstrated that this is not the case.

With children under 12, it is most common to address the topic of suicide after a direct exposure (for example, losing a loved one to suicidal death) or if they have questions after an indirect exposure (hearing about suicide at school or on TV). The National Child Traumatic Stress Network offers a free guide for how to have a developmentally appropriate conversation with a child about suicide, and recommended readings for children aged 12 & under, as well as for parents.

Parents and caregivers can gently but directly check in with teenagers about their mental health, thoughts of suicide, and available resources. While they may not show it, teens are often relieved that an adult cares enough to initiate the conversation. The American Federation for Suicide Prevention offers information on how to approach these conversations for different aged tweens and teens.

If a parent or caregiver has concerns that their child or teenager is suicidal, they should seek professional help immediately. Options may include consulting with the youth’s pediatrician, counseling services available at school, or 911 for immediate response.

If You Have Lost Someone to Suicide

If you have lost someone to suicide, you will likely experience complicated and intense emotions. This loss can be traumatic. In addition to sadness, you may experience feelings of guilt, shame, confusion and intense anger. It is important to know these feelings are common among survivors and you are not alone.

Accepting support from your friends, family, and community is beneficial to the healing process.

Resource and Healing Guide for Surviving Suicide Loss

Individual and group counseling can be very helpful to process grief, trauma and complex emotions. You can find a support group through the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention.

https://afsp.org/find-a-support-group

Schedule an Employee Assistance Appointment

While it is not often talked about openly, many individuals are supporting loved ones who experience thoughts of suicide, have lost someone to suicide, or have themselves struggled with suicidal thoughts. 


Employee Assistance offers confidential in-person, video or telephone appointments Monday - Friday from 8 am and 5 pm.
To schedule an appointment, please call (510) 643 7754 or email employeeassistance@berkeley.edu

Translation Services Available
Our Employee Assistance counseling rooms offer a translation telephone interpreter service; please notify our staff if you need assistance with translation for your appointment.

Confidentiality Statement
Employee Assistance is a voluntary and confidential service. The counselor does not share information about you or your visits with anyone outside of Employee Assistance without your consent, or as required by law. Please note that email can be easily observed by a third party and confidentiality of email is not guaranteed.