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About Us


San Francisco Suicide Prevention is the oldest community-based telephone crisis center in the United States, founded in 1962 by Bernard Mayes, a journalist from the British Broadcasting Corporation.  To this day, the agency trains local volunteers who provide suicide prevention and crisis intervention services to callers, over 500 other crisis centers across the United States now utilize the same concept.

With the support of over 3,500 volunteers since our inception, and 150 active volunteers annually, we answer calls from over 70,000 clients at 200 calls every single day. In addition to our crisis hotlines, we provide services to youths, outreach in the community, grief support, and groups for mental health professionals.

With a talented staff of 12 people, 150 volunteers, and an annual budget just over $1,000,000, San Francisco Suicide Prevention is one of the most cost-effective crisis care agencies in the country.