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Goals and Objectives

Strategic Direction 1: Healthy and Empowered Individuals, Families, and Communities


Integrate and coordinate suicide prevention activities across multiple sectors and settings.

1.1 Integrate suicide prevention into the values, culture, leadership, and work of a broad range of organizations and programs with a role to support suicide prevention activities.
1.2 Establish effective, sustainable, and collaborative suicide prevention programming at the state/territorial, tribal, and local levels.
1.3 Sustain and strengthen collaborations across federal agencies to advance suicide prevention.
1.4 Develop and sustain public-private partnerships to advance suicide prevention.
1.5 Integrate suicide prevention into all relevant health care reform efforts.


Implement research-informed communication efforts designed to prevent suicide by changing knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors.

2.1 Develop, implement, and evaluate communication efforts designed to reach defined segments of the population.
2.2 Reach policymakers with dedicated communication efforts.
2.3 Increase communication efforts conducted online that promote positive messages and support safe crisis intervention strategies.
2.4 Increase knowledge of the warning signs for suicide and of how to connect individuals in crisis with assistance and care.


Increase knowledge of the factors that offer protection from suicidal behaviors and that promote wellness and recovery.

3.1 Promote effective programs and practices that increase protection from suicide risk.
3.2 Reduce the prejudice and discrimination associated with suicidal behaviors and mental and substance use disorders.
3.3 Promote the understanding that recovery from mental and substance use disorders is real and possible for all.


Promote responsible media reporting of suicide, accurate portrayals of suicide and mental illnesses in the entertainment industry, and the safety of online content related to suicide.

4.1 Encourage and recognize news organizations that develop and implement policies and practices addressing the safe and responsible reporting of suicide and other related behaviors.
4.2 Encourage and recognize members of the entertainment industry who follow recommendations regarding the accurate and responsible portrayals of suicide and other related behaviors.
4.3 Develop, implement, monitor, and update guidelines on the safety of online content for new and emerging communication technologies and applications.
4.4 Develop and disseminate guidance for journalism and mass communication schools regarding how to address consistent and safe messaging on suicide and related behaviors in their curricula.

Strategic Direction 2: Clinical and Community Preventive Service 


Develop, implement, and monitor effective programs that promote wellness and prevent suicide and related behaviors.

5.1 Strengthen the coordination, implementation, and evaluation of comprehensive state/territorial, tribal, and local suicide prevention programming.
5.2 Encourage community-based settings to implement effective programs and provide education that promote wellness and prevent suicide and related behaviors.
5.3 Intervene to reduce suicidal thoughts and behaviors in populations with suicide risk.
5.4 Strengthen efforts to increase access to and delivery of effective programs and services for mental and substance use disorders.


Promote efforts to reduce access to lethal means of suicide among individuals with identified suicide risk.

6.1 Encourage providers who interact with individuals at risk for suicide to routinely assess for access to lethal means.
6.2 Partner with firearm dealers and gun owner groups to incorporate suicide awareness as a basic tenet of firearm safety and responsible firearm ownership.
6.3 Develop and implement new safety technologies to reduce access to lethal means.


Provide training to community and clinical service providers on the prevention of suicide and related behaviors.

7.1 Provide training on suicide prevention to community groups that have a role in the prevention of suicide and related behaviors.
7.2 Provide training to mental health and substance abuse providers on the recognition, assessment, and management of at-risk behavior, and the delivery of effective clinical care for people with suicide risk.
7.3 Develop and promote the adoption of core education and training guidelines on the prevention of suicide and related behaviors by all health professions, including graduate and continuing education.
7.4 Promote the adoption of core education and training guidelines on the prevention of suicide and related behaviors by credentialing and accreditation bodies.
7.5 Develop and implement protocols and programs for clinicians and clinical supervisors, first responders, crisis staff, and others on how to implement effective strategies for communicating and collaboratively managing suicide risk.

Strategic Direction 3: Treatment and Support Services


Promote suicide prevention as a core component of health care services.

8.1 Promote the adoption of “zero suicides” as an aspirational goal by health care and community support systems that provide services and support to defined patient populations.
8.2 Develop and implement protocols for delivering services for individuals with suicide risk in the most collaborative, responsive, and least restrictive settings.
8.3 Promote timely access to assessment, intervention, and effective care for individuals with a heightened risk for suicide.
8.4 Promote continuity of care and the safety and well-being of all patients treated for suicide risk in emergency departments or hospital inpatient units.
8.5 Encourage health care delivery systems to incorporate suicide prevention and appropriate responses to suicide attempts as indicators of continuous quality improvement efforts.
8.6 Establish linkages between providers of mental health and substance abuse services and community-based programs, including peer support programs.
8.7 Coordinate services among suicide prevention and intervention programs, health care systems, and accredited local crisis centers.
8.8 Develop collaborations between emergency departments and other health care providers to provide alternatives to emergency department care and hospitalization when appropriate, and to promote rapid followup after discharge.


Promote and implement effective clinical and professional practices for assessing and treating those identified as being at risk for suicidal behaviors.

9.1 Adopt, disseminate, and implement guidelines for the assessment of suicide risk among persons receiving care in all settings.
9.2 Develop, disseminate, and implement guidelines for clinical practice and continuity of care for providers who treat persons with suicide risk.
9.3 Promote the safe disclosure of suicidal thoughts and behaviors by all patients.
9.4 Adopt and implement guidelines to effectively engage families and concerned others, when appropriate, throughout entire episodes of care for persons with suicide risk.
9.5 Adopt and implement policies and procedures to assess suicide risk and intervene to promote safety and reduce suicidal behaviors among patients receiving care for mental and/or substance use disorders.
9.6 Develop standardized protocols for use within emergency departments based on common clinical presentation to allow for more differentiated responses based on risk profiles and assessed clinical needs.
9.7 Develop guidelines on the documentation of assessment and treatment of suicide risk and establish a training and technical assistance capacity to assist providers with implementation.


Provide care and support to individuals affected by suicide deaths and attempts to promote healing and implement community strategies to help prevent further suicides.

10.1 Develop guidelines for effective comprehensive support programs for individuals bereaved by suicide and promote the full implementation of these guidelines at the state/territorial, tribal, and community levels.
10.2 Provide appropriate clinical care to individuals affected by a suicide attempt or bereaved by suicide, including trauma treatment and care for complicated grief.
10.3 Engage suicide attempt survivors in suicide prevention planning, including support services, treatment, community suicide prevention education, and the development of guidelines and protocols for suicide attempt survivor support groups.
10.4 Adopt, disseminate, implement, and evaluate guidelines for communities to respond effectively to suicide clusters and contagion within their cultural context, and support implementation with education, training, and consultation.
10.5 Provide health care providers, first responders, and others with care and support when a patient under their care dies by suicide.

Strategic Direction 4: Surveillance, Research, and Evaluation


Increase the timeliness and usefulness of national surveillance systems relevant to suicide prevention and improve the ability to collect, analyze, and use this information for action.

11.1 Improve the timeliness of reporting vital records data.
11.2 Improve the usefulness and quality of suicide-related data.
11.3 Improve and expand state/territorial, tribal, and local public health capacity to routinely collect, analyze, report, and use suicide-related data to implement prevention efforts and inform policy decisions.
11.4 Increase the number of nationally representative surveys and other data collection instruments that include questions on suicidal behaviors, related risk factors, and exposure to suicide.


Promote and support research on suicide prevention.

12.1 Develop a national suicide prevention research agenda with comprehensive input from multiple stakeholders.
12.2 Disseminate the national suicide prevention research agenda.
12.3 Promote the timely dissemination of suicide prevention research findings.
12.4 Develop and support a repository of research resources to help increase the amount and quality of research on suicide prevention and care in the aftermath of suicidal behaviors.


Evaluate the impact and effectiveness of suicide prevention interventions and systems and synthesize and disseminate findings.

13.1 Evaluate the effectiveness of suicide prevention interventions.
13.2 Assess, synthesize, and disseminate the evidence in support of suicide prevention interventions.
13.3 Examine how suicide prevention efforts are implemented in different states, territories, tribes, and communities to identify the types of delivery structures that may be most efficient and effective.
13.4 Evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention in reducing suicide morbidity and mortality.
National Action Alliance
for Suicide Prevention

300 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2010
Waltham, MA 02451