Module 4 > Understanding the technical package > The technical package and other suicide prevention resources

The technical package is one of several national tools and frameworks that focuses on preventing suicide. While not exhaustive, the list below includes some commonly cited reports and resourcesSome of these are high-level roadmaps for suicide prevention in the United States, while others, such as the technical package, are more suitable to state- and local-level planning. Depending on your role and work, some of these may be more relevant and helpful to you than others. Click each dropdown below to find out more about the resource and how it relates to the CDC’s technical package.

In addition to the national-level tools and frameworks, those working at the local level may find it valuable to refer to any strategic plans and resources within their state. The majority of states have strategic plans for suicide prevention. 

Resource: The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Implement the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention

Authors: U.S. Surgeon General and National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention

Release date: January 2021

Purpose: “To advance progress toward full implementation of the National Strategy*, while taking into account the unique challenges and opportunities of our times.” 

*Revised in 2012, the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention was created to guide suicide prevention actions in the United States. See the full report and overview.

Relationship to the CDC suicide prevention technical package: The technical package provides specific, evidence-based activities and examples related to five of the six actions outlined in The Surgeon General’s Call to Action:

  1. Activate a broad-based public health response to suicide

  2. Address upstream factors that impact suicide 

  3. Ensure lethal means safety

  4. Support adoption of evidence-based care for suicide risk

  5. Enhance crisis care and care transitions

  6. Improve the quality, timeliness, and use of suicide-related data

Resource: An Action Plan for Strengthening Mental Health and the Prevention of Suicide in the Aftermath of COVID-19

Author: National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention

Release date: November 2020

Purpose: “To foster a comprehensive and impactful response to the significant mental health and suicide prevention needs associated with the coronavirus pandemic.”

Relationship to the CDC suicide prevention technical package: The Action Plan, which focuses on changes needed in healthcare and other systems, calls broadly for culturally responsive and evidence-based efforts at the local level. The technical package outlines specific evidence-based strategies and approaches.

Resource: Transforming Communities: Key Elements for the Implementation of Comprehensive Community-Based Suicide Prevention

Author: National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention

Release date: 2017

Purpose: “To identify a set of key elements that should guide community-based suicide prevention.”

This report advances Objective 5.2 of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, which encourages the use of community-based settings to implement suicide prevention and wellness education and programming.

Relationship to the CDC suicide prevention technical package: Transforming Communities was jointly released with the CDC technical package to prevent suicide. The technical package presents strategies and approaches to prevent suicide (what to do). Transforming Communities identifies key elements needed to plan and implement them effectively (how to do it).

Resource: State Suicide Prevention Infrastructure Recommendations

Author: Suicide Prevention Resource Center

Release date: 2019

Purpose: “To help state leaders establish a solid foundation for suicide prevention and guide policy making, funding and administrative decisions.”

Relationship to the CDC suicide prevention technical package: The recommendations articulate critical infrastructure elements needed at the state level to support the principles and activities laid out in the Transforming Communities report and the CDC’s suicide prevention technical package.

Resource: Effective Suicide Prevention Model - Comprehensive Approach

Author: Suicide Prevention Resource Center

Purpose: “To help develop and implement suicide prevention efforts in any setting.”

Relationship to the CDC suicide prevention technical package: The Effective Suicide Prevention Model has three components: Strategic Planning, Keys to Success, and Comprehensive Approach. The nine strategies in the Comprehensive Approach overlap significantly with the strategies in the CDC technical package.

In addition to clinical and individual strategies, the CDC technical package includes more upstream strategies and approaches, in particular:

  • Strengthening economic supports

  • Creating protective environments: This strategy expands beyond reducing access to lethal means — a form of crisis intervention — to include upstream changes in organizational policies and culture, and community-based policies to reduce excessive alcohol use.

The table below matches the Comprehensive Approach strategies with the corresponding strategy or approach from the CDC technical package.


Resource: Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience: A Framework for Addressing and Preventing Community Trauma

Author: Prevention Institute

Release date: 2016

Purpose: To provide a framework for understanding, addressing and preventing trauma at a community or population level.

Relationship to the CDC suicide prevention technical package: This framework focuses on improving community conditions to address and prevent violence and trauma. While not focused on suicide prevention specifically, trauma is a significant barrier to wellbeing, and several of the strategies in this framework overlap with those in the technical package, including economic security, housing stabilization, social connection, and healthy norms and culture. Whereas the technical package spans the entire prevention continuum, this framework is particularly useful for those looking to focus on community- or population-level approaches.

Reflection questions 

Strengthening economic supports is a core strategy in the CDC’s suicide-prevention technical package, backed by best available research evidence, however it isn’t reflected in most of the other suicide-prevention resources listed above.

  • Where does strengthening economic supports fall along the prevention continuum?

  • Why do approaches like financial security and housing stabilization matter in preventing suicide?

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