Suicide Prevention Strategies

Suicide Prevention

Strategies implemented, actions taken, and programs implemented to help reduce Ohio community members’ risk of dying by suicide.

Prevention efforts exist across a range of strategies which can reduce the risk of suicide in entire communities, in specific subgroups, or at an individual level. The range of suicide prevention strategies include: Universal Prevention, Selective Prevention, and Indicated Prevention.

Universal Prevention

Columbus Ohio skylineStrategies to reduce suicide risk in the entire community. This can be at a national, state, or local community level. These strategies target EVERYONE in a given population.

– Examples of Universal Suicide Prevention Strategies include : Media campaigns focused on stigma reduction, suicide prevention awareness events open to the entire community, and educational trainings on how to recognize suicide warning signs which are available to anyone in a county to attend.

Selective Prevention

Strategies to prevent suicide in groups considered to be at high-risk. These subpopulations of high-risk individuals are identified through research and data analysis and may be considered at higher-risk due to genetics, life experiences, or group membership. These strategies only target individuals in the identified high-risk SUBPOPULATIONs.

About OSPF - Working with the communityExamples of Selective Suicide Prevention Strategies include: educational trainings on mental health for members of a high-risk group, marketing materials with messaging on suicide prevention developed to appeal to a subgroup (and only distributed to this subgroup), and interventions which aim to reduce a subgroup’s risk factors related to suicide (e.g. a program reducing unhealthy coping skills in military families).

Indicated Prevention

Strategies to prevent suicide in individuals who are exhibiting warning signs of suicide, have made a suicide attempt, or who have struggled with thoughts of suicide. These strategies often occur at an INDIVIDUAL or small group level and focus on addressing the warnings signs of suicide.

OSPF Working Groups - CoalitionsExamples of Indicated Suicide Prevention Strategies Include: connecting those struggling with suicidality to treatment services, reducing access to means of suicide for those with a plan to attempt suicide, and creating safety plans for those in crisis.

A comprehensive approach to suicide prevention will ensure that all three levels are addressed. OSPF seeks to ensure that programs, resources, and best practice strategies are made available for communities and organizations across Ohio which can guide them in their Universal, Selective, and Indicated approaches to suicide prevention.

For additional information on how communities can engage in a comprehensive approach suicide prevention, visit the Suicide Prevention Resource Center: