What is being done to prevent suicides in the United States?

The 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention was released Monday, September 10th.

The report from the U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin and the Action Alliance includes 13 goals and 60 objectives for reducing suicides over the next 10 years.

U.S. health officials said nearly 100 people every day commit suicide, and many more attempt it. It is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. with rates doubling those of lives taken by homicide. The military in particular has seen an alarming increase in suicides this year.

The new guidelines focus on preventing suicides, especially among military veterans, by methods such as beefing up the nation’s crisis hotline to help. Four immediate priorities are highlighted to reduce the number of suicides:

  1. Integrating suicide prevention into health care policies.
  2. Encouraging the transformation of health care systems to prevent suicide.
  3. Changing the way the public talks about suicide and suicide prevention.
  4. Improving the quality of data on suicidal behaviors to develop increasingly effective prevention efforts.

The National Strategy‘s goals and objectives fall within four strategic directions, which, when working together, may most effectively prevent suicides:

  1. Create supportive environments that promote healthy and empowered individuals, families, and communities (4 goals, 16 objectives)
  2. Enhance clinical and community preventive services (3 goals, 12 objectives)
  3. Promote the availability of timely treatment and support services (3 goals, 20 objectives)
  4. Improve suicide prevention surveillance collection, research, and evaluation (3 goals, 12 objectives)

In addition, the federal government announced it will boost staff by 50 percent at the national hotline – 1-800-273-TALK – which is open to military and civilians alike. It provided $55.6 million for state and local programs, and highlighted Facebook features that link distressed users to counselors.

You can view the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and additional materials at the US Surgeon General web site. To speak to someone about emotional distress or suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Visit these web sites for more information:

suicide risk factors

suicide warning signs

For more information about treatment for individuals experiencing anxiety, feelings of hopelessness, or thoughts of suicide visit the web site for Aurora Psychiatric Hospital

Aurora Behavioral Health Services offers complete mental health treatment options, provided by highly trained professionals in a caring, confidential manner to meet individual and family needs.  If you or someone you know needs help, contact us — online or by phone at 1-877-666-7223 — as soon as possible.

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2 thoughts on “What is being done to prevent suicides in the United States?

  1. I have had a few experiences with close friends and family committing suicide. I really want to help prevent people from taking their own lives and prevent their family and friends from the pain of losing a loved one. I was wondering if you had any suggestions on what I can do to help prevent it in my area of even in the world. This is something I feel really strongly about and I just really want to help.

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