“I had this feeling of coming home,” Eve Meyer, former executive director of San Francisco Suicide Prevention (SFSP), fondly recalls being offered the role she would hold for three decades. Sharing the news of her acceptance with her brother, she was reminded by him of why she may have felt such familiarity. Suicide prevention had touched their lives from an early age. Ms. Meyer explains, “I totally forgot. Our parents were suicidal from time to time.” Growing up, she and her brother provided emotional support to their parents when they were feeling suicidal. “We would talk them out of it,” she remembers. Survivors of the holocaust, her parents had endured the horrors and trauma of Nazi concentration camps. The experiences Ms. Meyer had growing up proved beneficial to SFSP, a historic organization that has saved countless lives.

SFSP, which became part of Felton Institute in 2019, is the oldest community-based telephone crisis hotline in the United States. Serving the community with compassion and care, SFSP provides 24/7 emotional support on confidential hotlines, educational trainings on prevention and intervention for San Francisco organizations and schools, and grief support for loss survivors. The program, founded in San Francisco in 1962, began in the basement of an SRO on Geary St., later moving to a tattoo parlor on Geary, and quickly became a lifeline for anyone contemplating suicide. SFSP was founded by Bernard Mayes, a former British Episcopalian priest and correspondent for the BCC and NPR. Ms. Meyer says of him, “He was a charming, wonderful man. Glowing with a light all the time.”

Ms. Meyer’s tenure at SFSP was a fulfilling one. “It was extremely rewarding because it was a position in which you are able to help people by saving their lives.” She adds, “If you were walking down the street and you saw a child running into the street and a car coming towards them, and you pulled them out of the street just before the car went by, you would feel amazing.” Ms. Meyer stresses, “We are wired to be able to help each other.” 

Felton Institute recognized Ms. Meyer’s dedication and compassion during her time as executive director of SFSP, presenting her with the Legacy of Love Award in 2019. Ms. Meyer says of the event, “It was amazing. I felt like it really tied everything together, and it felt really rewarding.” Ms. Meyer, who ended her tenure at SFSP before it became part of Felton, says of the change at the time, “I knew Felton was going to take wonderful care of SFSP.”

If you or a loved one are experiencing mental health issues, please contact San Francisco Suicide Prevention (SFSP) by calling the Crisis Line: (415) 781-0500Texting: (415) 200-2920, or Dialing The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.


Felton Institute responds to the needs of our community by providing innovative, evidence-informed social services to transform lives. Our organization offers 50+ programs that address mental health, the unhoused, early care and education, those impacted by the justice system, transitional age youth, as well as aging adults. Our award-winning programs, which have been recognized as national models, combine the latest scientific research with cultural sensitivity and a deep commitment to supporting and reflecting the communities we serve.

Founded in 1889, Felton is the oldest secular non-profit social services provider in the City and County of San Francisco. We have expanded our services across most Bay Area counties and continue to be at the forefront of pioneering new approaches to meet the emerging needs of underserved populations.

We know what it looks like to successfully build community.

We foster impactful change by strengthening the community as a premiere service provider. We also strengthen other service providers by supporting them in their fiscal, human resources, communications, IT and overall agency operations. With Felton’s support, they are able to focus on providing the best services to their clients, doing the work they were meant to do.

Felton empowers the community and ensures successful outcomes to all we engage with.

Felton Institute is a tax-exempt organization registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit under EIN 94-1156530.