SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KCBS)_ Santa Clara County is taking steps to strengthen its suicide prevention strategy. Supervisors passed a plan that takes a comprehensive approach to the mental health problem.

Santa Clara County Supervisor Liz Kniss joined with others on the board in voting unanimously for the suicide prevention plan. It was created by a committee made up of community members, many who have been personally affected by suicide.

County Mental Health Director Dr. Nancy Pena says one of the key components of the plan is recognizing pre-suicidal behavior.

“The most important thing is people in our lives know how to help us that’s the biggest challenge that we have is giving them the tools and the information they need,” says Pena.

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The report was formed in the wake of five teenage suicides in Palo Alto, all of which happened on the Caltrain tracks. But Committee Co-Chair Vic Ojakian says the report does not have any specific recommendations for Caltrain.

“Much of what you have to do isn’t with a physical area because it’s what’s going on in a person’s mind and life and that requires work way beyond physical alterations to tracks,” says Ojakian.

The strategy will now be implemented county wide.


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