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Full implementation of the National Violent Death Reporting System

AFSP urges Congress to fully fund the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS).

About the issue

In 2018, 48,344 Americans died by suicide. The National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) is the only state-based reporting system that compiles information on violent deaths from medical examiners, coroners, law enforcement and other sources on an accessible online platform. An essential first step when designing effective suicide prevention strategies is to ensure the availability of complete, accurate, and timely information. There should be regard to the populations at risk, and predisposing factors that contribute to deaths from violence. NVDRS provides states and communities with an understanding of violent deaths in their area that can guide policy and decisions to prevent violent deaths and track them over time. This is done by providing information from multiple sources such as death certificates, toxicology reports, and law enforcement reports. The purpose of this system is to provide people with access to data that specifies the manner of death and precipitating circumstances allowing for further research and prevention methods to be developed and employed.

Data collected by NVDRS better explains the context surrounding a violent death including demographics, how it occurred, when it occurred, and why it occurred with a goal to develop prevention strategies. Specific demographics captured include age, race, sex, marital status, years of education, and occupation. Some of the general information provided on the NVDRS includes a narrative on the facts leading up to the death, manner of death, health conditions, Veteran status, and the presence or absence of drugs or alcohol.

Where we stand

To design effective suicide prevention strategies, we must first have complete, accurate and timely information about deaths by suicide and NVDRS provides this information. Congress fully funded the National Violent Death Reporting System at $23.5 million for the 2019 fiscal year. AFSP urges Congress to fully fund NVDRSeach fiscal year and to work towards increasing funding to assist in NVDRS implementation to respond to all violent deaths in the U.S.

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