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Suicide Prevention in the 21st Century: A Framework

Suicide prevention as it is practiced today is guided by three complementary approaches, all of which should be kept in mind when developing and implementing suicide prevention activities.

Click on each approach for additional information.

Image for the Public Health Approach to Suicide PreventionPublic Health Approach to Suicide Prevention

The public health approach (sometimes called the public health model) can help you understand what puts people at risk for suicide as well as what protects people from this risk. The public health approach is population-based, focuses on prevention, uses science to understand and develop activities, and works across sectors.

Image for The Strategic Planning Approach to Suicide PreventionStrategic Planning Approach to Suicide Prevention

The strategic planning approach can help you understand your community’s suicide problem; prioritize your prevention efforts; implement, expand, and improve your suicide prevention activities; and respond to changes in the suicide problem that occur over time. 


Comprehensive ApproachComprehensive Approach to Suicide Prevention

Suicide is most effectively prevented by a comprehensive approach that employs seven strategies: (1) identify people at risk, (2) increase help-seeking, (3) provide access to mental health services, (4) establish crisis management and postvention procedures, (5) restrict access to lethal means, (6) enhance life skills, and (7) promote social networks and connectedness.