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How can the government help prevent suicide?

A number of countries have established national suicide prevention plans or strategies. Their principles and action steps represent good sources for developing specific policy recommendations to present to governmental and legislative leaders. Common elements of these plans and strategies include:
  • Campaigns to increase public awareness of suicide as a preventable problem, to develop broad based support for prevention efforts, and to reduce stigma
  • Community development to support creation and implementation of suicide prevention programs
  • Improved access to services to suicidal people and their loved ones, and improved service delivery efforts through development of guidelines and linkages
  • Media education to improve reporting and portrayals of suicide in the media
  • Training for caregivers to improve recognition of at-risk behavior and delivery of effective treatments
  • Incorporation of licensing standards for professional caregivers
  • Development and promotion of effective clinical and professional practices
  • Means restriction initiatives to reduce access to lethal means and methods of self harm
  • Research and evaluation to promote and support research, improve surveillance systems, and evaluate the effectiveness of new or existing suicide prevention interventions

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.