Suicide Prevention
Novel program connects ER to phone calls

About this project

Every day in California, about nine people die by suicide. In fact, it is the 10th leading cause of death in the state, and in the nation. But, in Sacramento, there’s a unique partnership between Sutter Medical Center's emergency departments and a clinic run by WellSpace Health that takes a hands-on approach to this devastating problem. It’s a suicide prevention arrangement that targets people who have already tried to take their own lives and find themselves alive in the Emergency Room. The outreach program aims to get them immediate treatment and also reduce hospital readmissions. It is all done over the phone. And it's working.


Preventing subsequent suicide attempts one phone call at a time

Every day in California, nine people die by suicide. It’s the 10th leading cause of death in the state and nationwide. According to a recent study, More than half a million adults in California seriously thought about killing themselves in 2009. It’...

Suicide Prevention Resources

US toll-free 24/7 hotline. 1-800-273-8255

Blog Posts

Born again after trying to end it all

John survived his suicide attempt. Martina Castillo threatened to take her own life. Both ended up in Sutter General’s Emergency Department in Sacramento.


Lauren M. Whaley

Lauren M. Whaley

Lauren M. Whaley is a photographer, radio producer and print reporter specializing in topics related to mental illness, reproductive health care and health disparities. She is also a childbirth photographer.

This year, she is working on a series about how low-income parents access care for perinatal mental illnesses. The project is funded by the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism.

Whaley was a 2016-17 Knight Science Journalism Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology.

Her work has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists, the Scripps Howard Foundation and the Public Radio Exchange (PRX) STEM story project. She has contributed radio, video, photography and written stories to KQED Public Radio, Southern California Public Radio, the San Jose Mercury News, the New York Times and other media outlets. For six years, I worked as the Center for Health Reporting's multimedia journalist, based in Los Angeles. She is a past president of the national organization Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS) and spent her early 20s leading canoe expeditions for young women, including a solo-led 45-trip in the Canadian Arctic. 

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