National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Resources

This guide was created by the American Association of Suicidology and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, in partnership with Crisis Care Network and the Carson J Spencer Foundation. The guide provides clear steps for postvention, giving leadership a sense of how to immediately respond to the traumatic event, have a plan in the short-term for recovery, and consider long-term strategies for helping employees cope down the line.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has identified the construction industry among the top nine occupations with the highest risk for suicide. This guide, created by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Workplace Task Force, the Carson J Spencer Foundation, and RK, is a clear call-to-action to construction executives around the world to make suicide prevention a health and safety priority.

The Research Prioritization Task Force released this resource, which outlines the research areas that show the most promise in helping to reduce the rates of suicide attempts and deaths. Because overall suicide rates have not declined, the task force set itself the ambitious goal of identifying research that would best contribute to the reduction of suicides by 20% in five years and 40% in ten years if multiple approaches were optimally and fully implemented.

This facilitation guide accompanies the Breaking the Silence: Suicide Prevention in Law Enforcement Video and is designed to elevate suicide prevention efforts within the national law enforcement community. The facilitation guide and video help start the conversation on suicide prevention and officer wellness. The guide is broken into subsections so that the training can be offered to all those involved in law enforcement: command staff, supervisors, line staff and families.

The Carson J Spencer Foundation, in partnership with the International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, and the American Association of Suicidology, developed this video, which features real police officers, many from Kenosha and Denver police departments, who describe their struggles in coping with challenges of law enforcement and their own experiences with suicide.

Developed by the Workplace Task Force and adopted from the Air Force Model, the Jed Foundation/Suicide Prevention Resource Center, and Working Minds, this blueprint guides workplaces in developing a suicide prevention program that is most appropriate to them.

This report, developed by the Action Alliance’s Crisis Services Task Force, highlights the fractured mental health crisis services system in our country and recommends actions we can take to improve care for struggling individuals. Watch our archived webinar to learn more about this resource.

Faith.Hope.Life. is an initiative of the Faith Communities Task Force of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention.  It is an opportunity for every faith community in the United States, regardless of creed, to focus one Sabbath each year on the characteristics common to most faiths that also help prevent suicides.

This video, produced by the Workplace Task Force, Carson J Spencer Foundation, American Association of Suicidology, and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention explores the effect of suicide on firefighters and first responders.

While recommendations exist to assist news and entertainment professionals in covering suicide prevention safely, little guidance has been available for those in suicide prevention and behavioral health to effectively communicate to the public about suicide. The Action Alliance Framework for Successful Messaging outlines how individuals and organizations working in suicide prevention and behavioral health promotion can promote hope, help, and resilience, and ultimately help save lives.

To further advance the Action Alliance’s priority to change the public conversation around suicide and suicide prevention, our American Indian/Alaska Native Task Force developed the National American Indian/Alaska Native Hope for Life Day toolkit. The toolkit is geared towards professionals and grass-roots organizers working in AI/AN communities to implement a community-wide Hope for Life Day on September 10 of each year.

Our Youth in Contact with the Juvenile Justice System Task Force, established in June 2011, completed its work in 2013 by focusing attention on the needs of youth in the juvenile justice system, particularly in the areas of suicide-related awareness and education, suicide research, suicide prevention programming and training, and collaboration between the juvenile justice and mental health systems. These are the resources developed to provide findings, recommendations, and practical tools for juvenile justice and mental health administrators and staff.

Check out newly released recommended standard care aimed to help health systems better identify and support people who are at increased risk of suicide.

This report is the first-ever comprehensive, strategic document outlining how communities can effectively respond to the devastating impact of suicide loss. Developed by the Action Alliance’s Survivors of Suicide Loss Task Force, it paves the way for decisive advances in postvention services, including support for the bereaved after a suicide. Watch our archived webinar to learn more about this resource.

On September 10, 2012 the Action Alliance, along with the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin, released the revised National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP).  The revised strategy emphasizes the role every American can play in protecting their friends, family members, and colleagues from suicide.  It also provides guidance for schools, businesses, health systems, clinicians, and many other sectors. The revised strategy takes into account nearly a decade of research and other advancements in the field since the last strategy was published.

This report presents the findings and recommendations of the Clinical Care and Intervention Task Force to the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. The Task Force focused its deliberations and recommendations on care in four environments: (1) Emergency Departments and Medical-Surgical Units; (2) Primary Care and General Medical Settings; (3) Behavioral Health Entities; and (4) Crisis Services. And, while much of our concept of care lies in traditional face-to-face service delivery between clinicians and patients, the Task Force recognizes and has incorporated the growing use of technology to deliver care (e.g., telephone lines, e-help, texting, blogs, and social networks).

It has been well documented in numerous studies and papers that clinicians from a wide range of professions routinely encounter individuals at risk for suicide. These professions include nurses, social workers, physicians, mental health professionals, and others. Studies have also shown that many of these individuals do not have a level of confidence in dealing with suicidal individuals due to a lack of training. Having a competent and confident clinical workforce is critical to reducing the rate of suicide. Recognizing this imperative, we established the Clinical Workforce Preparedness Task Force to advance the competency of the broad clinical workforce and the settings within which they serve individuals at risk of suicide. The task force created this set of training guidelines.

The Way Forward summarizes eight core values and offers a lens through which suicide prevention can be envisioned to embrace safety and bring hope and meaning to those in suicidal despair. The Way Forward’s Core Values were generated through extensive dialogue of the Action Alliance’s Suicide Attempt Survivors Task Force members and based in the tenets of mental health recovery developed through decades of work by peer advocates, behavioral health professionals, and community feedback.

This resource presents seven key elements for comprehensive community-based suicide prevention, identified via a review of relevant programs, guidance, and models. The elements are key considerations that should guide community-based suicide prevention efforts—aimed at helping communities create policies, programs, and services that reduce suicide and improving individual, family, and community health.

This report, put together by our Research Prioritization Task Force, describes the investments of nine Federal agencies and two private foundations that support suicide research. Results show that investments in suicide research are severely lagging relative to research on other leading causes of death.

Watch our video that provides a high-level overview of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance) - the nation's public-private for suicide prevention.

The majority of people who die by suicide are of working age, yet most workplaces are relatively unprepared to help employees who are struggling with suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, or the aftermath of a suicide death. The participation of business leaders is critical to the success of the suicide prevention movement. This video was created by members of the Workplace Task Force.

Zero Suicide is a commitment to suicide prevention in health and behavioral health care systems and also a specific set of tools and strategies.  The Zero Suicide approach aims to improve care and outcomes for individuals at risk of suicide in health care systems. It represents a commitment to patient safety--the most fundamental responsibility of health care--and also to the safety and support of clinical staff who do the demanding work of treating and supporting suicidal patients.

Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) Resources

by Suicide Prevention Resource Center and SPAN, USA

Guided by the National Action Alliance Planning Group, this report reviews developments in the field of suicide prevention in the nine years since the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention was published. It identifies the areas of most important progress as well as the critical areas that have gone relatively unaddressed and also explores new issues or initiatives that have emerged since the development of the NSSP in 2001.

The approach most likely to produce significant and sustained reductions in suicide is the public health approach. The public health approach to suicide prevention focuses on identifying broader patterns of suicide and suicidal behavior throughout a group or population. This is in contrast to the clinical approach that explores the history and health conditions leading to suicide in the individual.

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center online training website aims to train service providers, educators, health professionals, public officials, and community-based coalitions to develop effective suicide prevention programs and policies. All courses are available free of charge and can be completed at your own pace.

This is a searchable collection of resource materials on various topics in suicide, suicide prevention, and mental health. Many of the materials are available free online in full text.

The Weekly Spark is a weekly newsletter published by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. It contains announcements and information about suicide, suicide prevention, and mental health issues; brief summaries of national, state and international news; analyses of relevant research findings; descriptions of funding opportunities, and links to additional resources. At this website you can see the most recent edition, search past editions, and subscribe to the newsletter.

Resources from the Field

To address the mental health stigma within law enforcement as well as the critical issue of law enforcement  suicide, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, in partnership with the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, U.S. Department of Justice (COPS) hosted Breaking the Silence: A National Symposium on Law Enforcement Officer Suicide and Mental Health in July 2013. The participants at the symposium, which included the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, law enforcement and mental health professionals, worked together to develop a national strategy to address officer mental health wellness and suicide prevention.

This journal publishes articles on crisis intervention and suicidology from around the world. The journal also includes potentially life saving practical information for all those involved in crisis intervention and suicide prevention.

The White House Domestic Policy Council published a suicide-specific addendum to its Making Health Care Better progress report on addressing mental health in research, prevention, coverage, recovery, and quality. The report discusses the work of the Action Alliance and the Zero Suicide initiative, among other key contributors to the field.

The National Council for Suicide Prevention is a coalition of nine national organizations working to prevent suicide. Its mission is to advance suicide prevention through leadership, advocacy, and a collective voice. Its members work with each other and their colleagues in government and the private sector to help advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, encourage use of performance measures, and share information and resources.

In order to begin a process of updating the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, the Federal Working Group on Suicide Prevention requested input from its members on work being done by Federal agencies that may be relevant to any of the NSSP objectives. This document contains the information obtained from this request.

The Lifeline is a free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Calls are routed to the crisis center closest to the caller. The phone number is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

For Hearing and Speech Impaired with TTY Equipment: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889).

Para obtener asistencia en español, llame al 1-888-628-9454.

by S. K. Goldsmith, T. C. Pellmar, A. M. Kleinman, & W. E. Bunney, (Eds.). (2002). Washington, DC: Institute of Medicine.This report reviews many of the risk factors for suicide individually, while emphasizing the need for an integrated understanding of the influences. The Committee on Pathophysiology and Prevention of Adolescent and Adult Suicide, Board of Neuroscience and Behavioral Health, convened by the Institute of Medicine, examined the state of the science, gaps in knowledge, strategies for prevention, and research designs for the study of suicide.

These guidelines are designed to assist individuals and organizations in safely and effectively talking about mental health and suicide-related issues via social media. With tips for posting and responding on Facebook pages, groups, Twitter feeds, Tumblr pages, websites and blogs and more, the guidelines take into account the unique safety, privacy and stigma-related aspects of these issues.

This journal keeps professionals abreast of the latest research, theories, and intervention approaches for suicide and life-threatening behaviors. The journal publishes scientific research on suicidal and other life-threatening behaviors, including research from biological, psychological, and sociological approaches.

This one-page sheet in the Best Practices Registry lists the key warning signs for suicide. It is a consensus statement developed in 2006 by an expert working group convened by the American Association of Suicidology.

A diverse group of 50 peer leaders, government policy makers, and healthcare providers from 13 countries convened for Atlanta 2015: An International Declaration and Social Movement. Invited guests included “Zero Suicide” advocates and pioneers as well as others committed to suicide prevention and better healthcare.