Data and Surveillance
Collecting timely and accurate suicide-related data is critical to developing successful suicide prevention efforts and measuring the impact of our work.
Improving National Data Systems
To advance work in this area, the Action Alliance (Data and Surveillance Task Force) reviewed existing national data systems and issued several recommendations aimed at enhancing data collection and surveillance.
Specific recommendations include:
- Linking national data systems to improve the quality, specificity, and accuracy of suicide-related data
- Promoting uniform reporting on suicide through the use of standard language and definitions of self-harm and suicidal thoughts
- Advancing syndromic surveillance capabilities to improve access to timely suicide-related data
- Adding suicide-related items to national health surveys
- Including valid and reliable questions on sexual orientation/gender identify on national surveillance systems
- Improving the ability to monitor changes among subgroups
- Improving the timeliness and quality of information obtained from death certificates
"The task force members believe that successful implementation of these recommendations will significantly enhance the development of a national coordinated program of fatal and non-fatal suicide surveillance. Such a coordinated program would facilitate evidence-based action to reduce the incidence of suicide and suicidal behavior in all populations." - Action Alliance's Data and Surveillance Task Force Member
See full report in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.