Suicide and Suicide Prevention Internet Resources
Web Resources [updates have been made to the
original list due to the ever-changing nature of the World Wide Web]
Appendix A - Risk and Protective Factors
Appendix B - Development of the Plan
Appendix C - Glossary
Georgia Suicide Prevention
Evaluation Handbook from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation for Community-Based
Primer on Evaluation from the U.S. Department of Justice
The Public Health Approach to Evaluation
University of Kansas Community Programs Evaluation
National and International Organizations Working for Suicide Prevention
American Association of Suicidology
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Faith in Action (the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)
Georgia Suicide Prevention Plan
The Link: National Resource Center for Suicide Prevention and Aftercare
National Organization of People of Color Against Suicide
Suicide Awareness Voices of Education
Suicide Prevention Advocacy Network USA
Centre for Suicide Prevention - Canada
Suicide Prevention Efforts in Norway
Suicide Prevention Research Center
National Strategy for Suicide Prevention
Comprehensive National Strategy for Suicide Prevention Web Site
Suicide Prevention Advocacy Network, USA
State Suicide Prevention Efforts
State Planning for Suicide Prevention
State Resources for Child Injury and Violence Prevention
Suicide Prevention Resources by State
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Injury Prevention
and Control Data
Costs of Completed and Medically Treated Suicide
Maternal and Child Health Bureau Block Grant Data
Web Based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS)
Suicide and Suicide Prevention Information
Center for Mental Health Services Suicide the Five W's: Depression and Mood Disorders
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. A Message on Suicide Prevention
National Institute on Mental Health Frequently Asked Questions about Suicide
National Institute of Mental Health Selected Bibliography on Suicide
National Institute Mental Health Suicide Fact Sheets
Role of Maternal and Child Health Bureau in Youth Suicide Prevention
World Health Organization, United Nations. (WHO/UN2000). Preventing Suicide in six groups.
ADAMHA -Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration (1989). Report of It the Secretary's Task Force on Youth Suicide: Volumes 1-4. DHHS Pub. No. ADM 89-1624. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Anderson, MA., Powell, K.E., Davidson, S.C. Suicide in Georgia: 2000. Georgia
Department of Human Resources, Division of Public Health, Epidemiology Section, June 2000. Publication number DPH00 .34H.
Atwood, K., Colditz, G.A., Kawachi, I. (1997). From Public Health Science to Prevention Policy: Placing Science in its Social and Political Contexts. American Journal of Public Health 87:1603-1605.
CDC National Mortality Statistics. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/osp/data.htm
Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care. Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention for Mental Health--A Monograph. Mental Health and Special Programs Branch, Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care, Canberra, Australia, 2000.
Durkheim, E. Suicide: A Study in Sociology. Translated by J.A. Spaulding & G. Simpson. New York: Free Press, (1987/1951).
Goodman, R.M., Speers, M.A., McLeroy, K., Fawcett, S., Kegler, M., Parker, E., Smith, S., Sterling, T. and Wallerstein, N. An Initial Attempt to Identify and Define the Dimensions of Community Capacity to Provide a Basis for Measurement. Health Education and Behavior, vol.25 (3), 1998.
Jamison, K.R. Night Falls Fast--Understanding Suicide. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1999.
McCraig, L.F., Strussman, B.J. National Hospital Ambulatory Care Survey: 1996. In: CDC. Emergency Department Summary: Advance Data from Vital and Health Statistics, no. 293. Hyattsville, Maryland: National Center for Health Statistics, 1997.
MMWR-Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Vol.43 No. RR-6, Apri1 22, 1994.
National Strategy for Suicide Prevention: Goals and Objectives for Action. Rockville, MD: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 2001.
Ramsey, R. United Nations Impact on the United States National Suicide Prevention Strategy. Paper presented at the 34th conference of the American Association of Suicidology, Atlanta, GA, 2001.
Raphael, B. Promoting the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Children and Young People. Discussion Paper: Key Principles and Directions. National Mental Health Working Group, Department of Health and Aged Care, Canberra, Australia, 2000.
Shneidman, E.S. and Farberow, N.L. The LA SPC: A Demonstration of Public Health Feasibilities. American Journal of Public Health 55:21-26.
Silverman, M.M., Davidson L., Potter L., Eds. Background Papers from the National Suicide Prevention Conference October 1998 Reno, Nevada. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 31 Supplement, Spring 2001.
Suicide in Georgia:2000, Georgia Department of Human Resources, Division of Public Health. Atlanta, 2001.
United Nations World Health Organization. Prevention of Suicide: Guidelines for the formation and implementation of national strategies. ST /ESA/245 .Geneva: World Health Organization, 1996.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy People 2010. 2nd ed. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, November, 2000.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health, 1999.
U.S. Public Health Service, The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent Suicide. Washington, DC, 1999.
Appendix A: Risk and Protective Factors for Suicide
The base for suicide prevention comes from identifying suicide risk factors, suicide protective factors, and their interactions. Suicide risk factors are things that increase the potential for a person's suicide or suicidal behavior. A person's age, gender, or ethnicity can increase the impact of certain risk factors or combinations of risk factors for them. Understanding risk factors can help counteract the myth that suicide is a random act or results from stress alone. Suicide protective factors are things that reduce the potential for a person's suicide or suicidal behavior. Protective factors include attitudes and behaviors.
Some risk factors cannot be changed, such as a previous suicide attempt, but even these may have a purpose as reminders of the heightened risk of suicide when the individual is ill or encountering adversity. To prevent suicide, enhancing resilience and protective factors is as important as reducing risk. Unfortunately, resilience against suicide is not permanent. This means that activities to support and maintain protection against suicide need to be repeated and ongoing.
The following Risk Factors and Protective Factors for Suicide are identified in the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention: Goals and Objectives for Action.
Risk Factors for Suicide
Biological, Psychological and Social Risk Factors
Previous suicide attempt
Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and certain personality disorder diagnoses
Alcohol and substance abuse disorders
Family history of suicide
History of trauma or abuse
Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
Some major physical illnesses
Environmental Risk Factors
Job or financial loss
Relational or social loss
Easy access to lethal means
Local clusters of suicide that have a contagious influence
Socio-cultural Risk Factors
Lack of social support and sense of isolation
Stigma associated with help-seeking behavior
Barriers to obtaining access to health care, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment
Certain cultural and religious beliefs, for instance the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma
Exposure to the influence of others who have died by suicide, including media exposure
Protective Factors in Preventing Suicide
Effective clinical care for mental, physical, and substance use disorders
Easy access to a variety of clinical interventions and support for help-seeking
Restricted access to highly lethal methods of suicide
Strong connections to family and community support
Support through ongoing medical and mental health care relationships
Learned skills in problem solving, conflict resolution, and nonviolent handling of disputes
Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide and support self-preservation
Appendix B: Development of the Wisconsin Suicide Prevention Strategy
Only recently has knowledge become available to help us approach suicide as a preventable problem with realistic opportunities to save many lives. The Wisconsin Suicide Prevention Strategy is framed upon these advances in science and public health. It is connected with national efforts to develop strategies for suicide prevention that can be carried out by public and private partners in communities across the country.
There has been international interest in suicide prevention for many years. In 1993, the United Nations/World Health Organization, in collaboration with a Canadian partnership led hosted an international conference in Calgary, Canada. The results of that meeting were documented in a publication called Prevention of Suicide: Guidelines for the Formulation and Implementation of National Strategies (United Nations 1996). The UN Guidelines were developed as a way to facilitate the development of national strategies for the prevention of suicidal behaviors within the socio-economic and cultural context of any interested country (Ramsey 2001).
SPAN USA was founded by Elsie and Jerry Weyrauch in January, 1996, to create and implement a national suicide prevention strategy based on the UN Guidelines. SPAN USA members include suicide survivors (persons close to someone who completed suicide), suicide attempters, persons providing support for survivors and advocates of suicide prevention. SPAN USA' s efforts to mobilize political action for suicide prevention generated United States Congressional resolutions recognizing suicide as a national problem and suicide prevention as a national priority. As part of a 1998 National Suicide Prevention Conference in Reno, Nevada, SPAN USA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention commissioned briefing papers to summarize the evidence base for suicide prevention strategies among at-risk populations and to make recommendations for public health action (Silverman, Davidson, and Potter, 2001). Conference participants included researchers, health, mental health and substance abuse clinicians, policy makers, suicide survivors, consumers of mental health services, and community activists and leaders. Five delegates represented Wisconsin.
Following the work of the Reno Conference, Surgeon General David Satcher issued his Call to Action to Prevent Suicide in July, 1999, emphasizing suicide as a serious public health problem (USPHS, 1999). The Surgeon General's Call introduced a blueprint for addressing suicide prevention through Awareness, Intervention, and Methodology (AIM). AIM describes 15 broad recommendations containing goal statements, general objectives and recommendations for implementation that are consistent with a public health approach to suicide prevention. The recommendations were selected according to their scientific evidence, feasibility and degree of community support.
The recommendations of the SPAN USA Reno meeting, the Call to Action and subsequent critical examination by scientific, clinical and government leaders, other professionals and the general public resulted in a comprehensive plan outlining national goals and objectives that would stimulate the development of defined activities for local, state and federal partners. SPAN USA has worked to build its own state plan, the Georgia Plan, in concert with the National Strategy while incorporating specific state needs and interests.
In 2000, a Wisconsin work group was formed through an informal collaborative partnership to address the need for a Wisconsin state strategy. Following participation in a teleconference call with the Surgeon General and ten other states that have suicide prevention plans, this Wisconsin work group adapted goals and objectives from the National Strategy and from the Georgia Plan for the Wisconsin Strategy.