24 Hour Crisis Hotline
Alameda County:
Nationwide Hotline:
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

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Warning Signs of Suicide and Depression
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Teens For Life


Depression has reached epidemic proportions among youth. In the United States, nearly 5,000 young people die from suicide each year. For every youth that dies, an additional 100 to 200 suicide attempts are made. In California, suicide is the third leading cause of death in persons between the ages of 15 and 24. Countless other young people struggle with serious depression that goes undiagnosed or untreated. 


Our Teens for Life program has been speaking to Alameda County youth for over 20 years.  Along with providing youth information about depression and suicidal warning signs, we also encourage help-seeking behavior not only for themselves but also on behalf of others.   Through our presence in a classroom, not only do we combat the stigma of silence but we open up the opportunity for students to approach a speaker and reach out for help. The speaker then becomes an immediate bridge from the student to vital resources, including our 24-hour crisis line.


To provide awareness and discussion of suicide in a safe environment. 


Through Teens for Life, CSS staff and volunteers:

  • Increase youth confidence in recognizing depression and suicide warning signs.
  • Increase willingness of youth to act on behalf of themselves or a friend who is depressed and/or suicidal.
  • Provide awareness of the silence surrounding suicide.
  • Increase awareness of school and local resources, including 24-hour crisis line

teensforlife.gif Whom We Serve

Students in Alameda County middle schools and high schools.  Last year, CSS staff and volunteers reached out to more than 10,000 young people in 38 different schools and in 251 classroom presentations throughout Alameda County. We participate in youth health fairs and provide youth trainings to peer and youth support groups in other community agencies.

CSS also offers community education programs for teachers, parents, community groups and mental health providers. Critical incident debriefing services are also available for those grieving a sudden death.




Director of Community Education: Mercedes Coleman 510-420-2473

Please also visit our contact form.



Yes, we are seeking volunteers at this time.

Teens for Life Presenter: The Role

To provide a 1- hour classroom based suicide prevention and awareness curriculum to youth.   Through our presence in a classroom, not only do we combat the stigma of silence but we open up the opportunity for students to approach a speaker and reach out for help. Among the outcomes of our Teens for Life program is that it opens up opportunities for hope that suicidal feelings are not permanent and that there is help.


* Must successfully complete the required crisis line training classes
* Must have successfully completed the 16 weeks of one-on-one crisis line training with a trainer
* Must have a car or be proficient in utilizing public transportation to anywhere in Alameda County
* Observe a trained speaker in at-least 4 classroom settings
* Be observed and evaluated in at-least 4 classroom settings
* Two school semesters
* 4-6 presentations per month

You can also contact us for additional information.

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