Module 2: What is a public health approach to suicide prevention?
Suicide is the result of a confluence of factors—there is no single cause and therefore no standalone solution. In addition to individual and family/relationship factors, causes of suicide include community and societal factors. As described in Module 1, catastrophic events can impact communities in a number of ways, including increasing the risk of suicide.
Some factors that can contribute to suicide are identified in the image below.
Due to the complexity of the issue, local leaders must focus on identifying and addressing patterns of suicide, and structures that shape patterns, which is also known as systems thinking. A public health approach to preventing suicide applies a comprehensive set of strategies to effectively address this complex issue. This module describes several components of the public health approach that can guide the formulation of suicide prevention efforts, with particular focus on an infrastructure disruption context. We recommend reviewing the module with partners and completing activities as a group.
Distinguish where strategies fall along the prevention continuum (prevention/intervention/postvention)
Use community determinants of health to articulate the role of multiple sectors in preventing suicide
Understand the value of incorporating multiple forms of evidence in suicide prevention efforts
Assess existing strategies and partnerships to identify gaps in comprehensiveness, collaboration, equity, and/or evidence
Download the full activity packet for Module 2