Strides in suicide prevention

June 12, 2015

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

US News & World Report

In sectors from health care to the military, the effort to bring down the United States suicide rate is gaining momentum. An increasing number of health care systems are adopting the Zero Suicide approach promoted by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, making changes at every level to prevent suicidal behavior among patients. In the past year, Congress has strengthened suicide prevention programs for active-duty military personnel and veterans, and supported the expansion of the National Violent Death Reporting System to provide needed data on suicide patterns. Several states have recently passed laws requiring that school personnel receive suicide prevention training. Programs to prevent youth suicide have also been supported by federal Garrett Lee Smith grants, administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to states, tribes, territories, and colleges. Richard McKeon, chief of SAMHSA’s suicide prevention branch, noted that while such programs have shown positive effects, the results are not yet durable. The next step, he said, is “to embed these activities in an ongoing, sustainable way in states and tribes across the country.”

Spark Extra! Find out about suicide prevention efforts in your area using SPRC’s States and Communities page.