San Francisco Suicide Prevention (SFSP)

San Francisco Suicide Prevention (SFSP) 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.  SFSP merged into Felton Institute in 2019, bringing together two of the most enduring mental health and crisis intervention agencies in Northern California. The partnership aims to provide continuous care and services for people in suicide crisis and emotional distress.

SFSP Crisis Line button

San Francisco Suicide Prevention (SFSP) 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 help of 200+ volunteers, we provide emotional support for all of San Francisco’s diverse communities and answer 55,000 calls annually. In addition to our crisis hotlines, we provide services to youths, outreach in the community, grief support, and groups for mental health professionals.

24 Hour Emergency Hotlines


San Francisco Suicide Prevention (SFSP) Hotline Red Phone

Help is always available on San Francisco Suicide Prevention’s Confidential Hotlines. We are here for you 24/7, 365 days a year!

For more information, visit the SFSP Website.

San Francisco Suicide Prevention is here to help 24 hours a day, every day of the week.  We offer many programs to help you reduce emotional pain and to learn how to help yourself and your friends and family through crisis. Our programs enable us to help people deescalate and assist those who are at risk of feeling suicidal.

Mission & History

The mission of San Francisco Suicide Prevention is to provide emotional support, education, assistance, and intervention as necessary to all persons in crisis and those impacted by them, with the goal of reducing suicides and self-destructive behaviors.

In 1962, San Francisco Suicide Prevention opened its services in a Tenderloin hotel with six volunteers, all personally trained by Bernard Mayes, the agency’s founder.

San Francisco Suicide Prevention’s programs have been widely featured in the international, national, and local media, including the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Washington Post, the London Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle.


San Francisco Suicide Prevention could not exist without the dedication of more than 100 community volunteers every year.  Most of our volunteers assist the community on our hotline and internet chat services. However, we also recruit for administrative and outreach volunteers.

For more information and to apply, please visit the SFSP Website.


Office Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm

Are you looking for information about our programs, training and presentations, educational materials, support groups, and other resources? If so please reach out to our supportive staff during standard 9 AM – 5 PM Monday to Friday business hours.

For crisis situations, you can reach us 24/7 through our crisis hotline and textline services.

GENERAL EMAIL (M-F, 9am-5pm)

24/7 Crisis Line (415) 781-0500
Business (415) 984-1900
TTY (415) 227-0245
Fax (415) 227-0247

San Francisco Suicide Prevention,
P.O. Box 191350,
San Francisco, CA 94119


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