Building a Lasting Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Elly Stout, MS; Julie Ebin, EdM
This Suicide Prevention Month, we are reaching out to those who are struggling and remembering those we’ve lost. It is also a time for us to collectively recommit to preventing suicide over the long term. While September’s efforts are important, they are a sprint compared to the marathon it will take to significantly reduce suicide rates. That may sound discouraging, but there is hope. We know that suicide can be prevented, most recently through the national outcomes evaluation of the Garrett Lee Smith Youth Suicide Prevention Program. In counties where grantees were implementing a comprehensive array of strategies, youth suicide deaths and attempts decreased–that’s the good news. The bad news is that this impact disappeared after federal grant funding ended. We need a stronger national foundation to keep prevention efforts consistent and lasting across the country. A key part of that foundation is state suicide prevention infrastructure.
Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and its partners have released Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention: Model Language, Commentary, and Resources. The document outlines model policies and best practices for school districts to prevent student suicide.
National Recovery Month
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is holding its annual Recovery Month to increase awareness of mental and substance use disorders and celebrate those in recovery. This year’s theme is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger.”