New Hampshire’s Sustainable Suicide Prevention Plan

January 10, 2020
News Type:  From the Field, State Infrastructure
State:  New Hampshire

In 2006, representatives from public and private agencies, citizens, and state legislators in New Hampshire came together to form a suicide prevention council. Members of this new group, who were committed to suicide prevention across the lifespan, signed a memorandum of understanding to confirm their dedication to the council.

In 2008, to create a sustainable and unified suicide prevention effort, the state legislature formally established the New Hampshire Suicide Prevention Council (SPC). The SPC continues to serve as the lead for suicide prevention in the state with a structure that includes several subcommittees focusing on different areas of suicide prevention. Its main goal is to connect private and public partners in a unified prevention effort.

The SPC oversees development of the state’s suicide prevention plan. In 2016, the subcommittees each developed their own goals and then came together to create the 2017-2020 New Hampshire Suicide Prevention Plan focused on implementing the Zero Suicide model in the state. The SPC also oversees implementation of the plan and creates formal reports that are made available to the public and submitted to the governor annually.

The SPC’s ability to bring public and private partners together has ensured community ownership of suicide prevention planning and implementation. This council helps unite grassroots efforts with state leaders for effective, locally driven suicide prevention. Trust between partners has developed through the SPC and has furthered the state’s ability to address many prevention issues related to suicide. Finally, the SPC has minimized duplication of efforts and increased coordination among mental health services and a variety of prevention agencies, including those focused on suicide, substance abuse, and violence prevention.

Learn how your state can develop similar infrastructure and read additional examples by visiting the Authorize essential element of SPRC’s State Infrastructure Recommendations.