State suicide inititatives and plans

We believe that in order to be effective, statewide suicide prevention plans must address suicide prevention among a wide variety of vulnerable populations.

About the issue

The original National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (2001) called for the development of comprehensive state suicide prevention plans that would guide and coordinate suicide prevention activity across public and private agencies and organizations.  Since then, all U.S. states have developed a suicide prevention plan, and many have formed distinct suicide prevention offices or public-private partnerships to advance those plans.

In order to be effective, statewide suicide prevention plans must address suicide prevention among a wide variety of vulnerable populations. For those plans to have meaning, there must be ongoing funding available from the state or other sources to make prevention activities and programming possible. Collaboration and coordination among state and local agencies is critical to developing a comprehensive and effective statewide approach to suicide prevention.

The National Strategy was revised in 2012, which prompted many states to undertake their own revisions to ensure their plans reflected the latest advances in suicide prevention knowledge, research, and practice.

Where we stand

AFSP encourages Field Ambassadors and chapter leaders to participate actively in state suicide prevention initiatives and in the implementation of state suicide prevention plans. We advocate for state initiatives and plans that:

  • Address suicide prevention across the lifespan
  • Encourage active and full implementation by public and private partners across the state
  • Are funded and sustainable
  • Evaluate progress and make revisions as necessary

Additional resources

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