UC Student Mental Health Initiative

Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act, was passed by California voters in November of 2004 to address mental health issues in the state. The Student Mental Health Initiative was created to expand suicide prevention efforts and mental wellness promotion in the K-12 and higher educational systems. The Student Mental Health Initiative (SMHI) promotes and applies strategies to strengthen student mental health statewide across K-12 educational systems and through institutions of higher education. This initiative focuses activities on key areas notes below and advances collaboration between educational settings and county service. UC San Diego is implementing the grant funding to promote mental health and prevent suicide on our campus.


The SMHI Initiative includes a comprehensive research component to assess student baselines, treatment, and outcomes. Dr. Jerry Phelps, Dr. Monique Menoza Crandal, and Dr. Reina Juarez recently published an article on suicide prevention efforts in the California Psychologist titled "Effective Suicide Prevention in Higher Education.

CAPS Smartphone App

Download the UCSD CAPS smartphone app to have immediate access to CAPS appointment information, crisis assistance, stress management tips and help for problems sleeping. Input codu.co/858784 into your browser and then add it to your homescreen (iPhone/iPad/iTouch) or bookmark it (Android and Windows Phone). You can also click on the qr-code below for immediate access to our mobile platform!


County Partners: Working together to End Suicide

  • The San Diego County Suicide Prevention Council (SPC) is a collaborative community-wide effort focused on realizing a vision of zero suicides in San Diego County. Our mission is to prevent suicide and its devastating consequences in San Diego County.
  • On April 1, 2010, the County of San Diego awarded CHIP a contract to form an interagency Suicide Prevention Council (SPC) to create and introduce a Mental Health Services Suicide Prevention Action Plan for San Diego County.
  • With continued support from the County of San Diego, the SPC provides oversight, guidance, and collective support to implement the recommendations of the Suicide Prevention Action Plan.

Suicide Prevention Projects

Suicide Crisis Assistance
If you or someone you care about needs to speak to someone or is in crisis and needs immediate help, please call the Access & Crisis Line at (888) 724-7240. Trained and experienced counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you. You don't have to suffer in silence, make the FREE call. If emergency medical care is needed, call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital - See more at this up2sd link.
UCSD Red Folder
The Red Folder is our campus response protocol to students in crisis. Download the Red Folder here and learn how you can help a student in distress.
It's Up 2 Us
The It's Up to Us campaign is designed to empower San Diegans to talk openly about mental illness, recognize symptoms, utilize local resources and seek help.
The California Mental Health Services Authority provides counties an independent administrative and fiscal intergovernmental structure for jointly developing, funding, and implementing mental health services and educational programs at the state, regional, and local levels.
Know the Signs Campaign
With the Know the Signs campaign, find out when and how to prevent suicide. Know the Signs. Find the Words. Reach Out for Help.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
This free, 24-hour hotline is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Call 800-273-8255. Press 1 for Veterans assistance. Para español, oprima 2.

Peer-to-Peer Support

Active Minds
Active Minds at UCSD is a student organization dedicated to promoting mental health at the University of California, San Diego.
CAPS Wellness Peer Educators
The goal of the The CAPS Wellness Peer Education Programis to educate fellow students about mental health and wellness, reduce stigma and spread awareness of Counseling and Psychological Services on campus. Wellness Peer Educators participate in All Peer training in basic counseling skills, group facilitation, crisis management and ethics, and how to construct and implement outreach and workshop presentations.
Reach Out Here
Reach Out Here was created as a safe place for teens and young adults to improve their understanding of mental health issues, develop resilience, build their coping-skills and increase help-seeking behavior. It provides evidence-based information and supports, real life stories and the ability to connect and contribute in a safe and supported community. ReachOut.com connects with young people in ways traditional mental health services never could, at a fraction of the cost. It provides critical early intervention to prevent small problems from becoming big ones. It builds meaningful connections and complements existing services. ReachOut.com’s message for young people is one of hope: “You are not alone – young people just like you have made it through tough times just like yours and they now live happier lives.”
The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project, Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24. NEED HELP? WE ARE HERE FOR YOU 24/7: 1-866-488-7386 or Chat.

Training Efforts

There are several excellent trainings available to the public that teach the knowledge and skills to be an effective "gatekeeper" for people who are thinking about suicide. A gatekeeper is someone who is able and willing to help someone thinking about suicide get professional help.

CAPS offers Gatekeeper training to students, faculty and staff on how to respond to students in distress. To request a training session, please go to our Online Presentation Request Form.
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is a workshop for anyone who want to feel more comfortable, confident and competent in helping to prevent the immediate risk of suicide. To learn more about ASIST, visit www.livingworks.net. To find a workshop in California, email usa@livingworks.net.
safeTALK is a three hour training that prepares anyone over the age of 15 to identify persons with thoughts of suicide and connect them to suicide first aid resources. To learn more about safeTALK, visit www.livingworks.net. To find a workshop in California, email usa@livingworks.net.
Active Minds
Active Minds at UCSD is a student organization dedicated to promoting mental health at the University of California, San Diego.
QPR: Question, Persuade, and Refer
— Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help. To learn more about this one-hour training, visit their website. To schedule a training in San Diego County, contact Elizabeth Vaughan at 858-609-7971 or evaughan@sdchip.org.

Stigma Reduction

Each Mind Matters
Each Mind Matters unites the hundreds of organizations working together to create health systems that serve minds and bodies, and the millions of Californians who refuse to stay silent while untreated mental illness takes an unnecessary toll on our families and communities. Together, we are creating a California where Each Mind Matters.

Using Media in our Outreach

Public Service Announcements (PSA's)

Responsible Reporting on Suicide. Local Guidelines for Responsible Reporting on Suicide in the Media, developed by the SPC Media Subcommittee.