Call to Action
The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Implement the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention
In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of the Surgeon General, the Action Alliance and its partners helped to develop The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Implement the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (Call to Action). The Call to Action identifies six key actions that must be prioritized and implemented now in order to reverse the upward trend of suicide deaths in the U.S. These actions, and corresponding strategies, include:
Action 1. Activate a Broad-Based Public Health Response to Suicide
- 1.1 Broaden perceptions of suicide, who is affected, and the many factors that can affect suicide risk.
- 1.2 Empower every individual and organization to play a role in suicide prevention.
- 1.3 Engage people with lived experience in all aspects of suicide prevention.
- 1.4 Use effective communications to engage diverse sectors in suicide prevention.
Action 2. Address Upstream Factors that Impact Suicide
- 2.1 Promote and enhance social connectedness and opportunities to contribute.
- 2.2 Strengthen economic supports.
- 2.3 Engage and support high-risk and underserved groups.
- 2.4 Dedicate resources to the development, implementation, and evaluation of interventions aimed at preventing suicidal behaviors.
Action 3. Ensure Lethal Means Safety
- 3.1 Empower communities to implement proven approaches.
- 3.2 Increase the use of lethal means safety counseling.
- 3.3 Dedicate resources to the development, implementation, and evaluation of interventions aimed at addressing the role of lethal means safety in suicide and suicide prevention.
Action 4. Support Adoption of Evidence-Based Care for Suicide Risk
- 4.1 Increase clinical training in evidence-based care for suicide risk.
- 4.2 Improve suicide risk identification in health care settings.
- 4.3 Conduct safety planning with all patients who screen positive for suicide risk.
- 4.4 Increase the use of suicide safe care pathways in health care systems for individuals at risk.
- 4.5 Increase the use of caring contacts in diverse settings.
Action 5. Enhance Crisis Care and Care Transitions
- 5.1 Increase development and use of statewide or regional crisis service hubs.
- 5.2 Increase the use of mobile crisis teams.
- 5.3 Increase the use of crisis receiving and stabilization facilities.
- 5.4 Ensure safe care transitions for patients at risk.
- 5.5 Ensure adequate crisis infrastructure to support implementation of the national 988 number.
Action 6. Improve the Quality, Timeliness, and Use of Suicide-Related Data
- 6.1 Increase access to near real-time data related to suicide.
- 6.2 Improve the quality of data on causes of death.
- 6.3 Expand the accessibility and use of existing federal data systems that include data on suicide attempts and ideation.
- 6.4 Improve coordination and sharing of suicide-related data across federal, state, and local levels.
- 6.5 Use multiple data sources to identify groups at risk and to inform action.