State of State, Territorial, and Tribal Suicide Prevention

There is no single cause of suicide, and reducing suicide requires a comprehensive approach that starts with data—to understand the extent of the problem, who is impacted, and what increases or decreases risk—and includes implementation and evaluation of multiple prevention strategies with the best available evidence.

Despite many important accomplishments, suicide rates have increased 33% since 1999. CDC conducted an environmental scan to gain a better understanding of the current infrastructure and suicide prevention landscape among states, territories, and tribes/tribal organizations (STT), to identify resource levels, and to inform comprehensive prevention in the future. The scan objectives and methods are outlined in The State of State, Territorial, and Tribal Suicide Prevention background. The survey covered ten domains considered critical to a public health approach to suicide prevention:

  1. Awareness of recent suicide trends
  2. Data sources
  3. Infrastructure
  4. Prevention planning
  5. Collaboration
  6. Legislation/policy
  7. Prevention readiness/capacity
  8. Populations addressed
  9. Risk and protective factors addressed
  10. Barriers and facilitators
Key Findings

The suicide prevention landscape across states, territories, and a selection of tribes and tribal organizations depicts a diverse array of existing suicide prevention infrastructure, capacity, partnerships, prevention activities, and overall progress towards our national goalexternal icon to reduce suicide rates by 20% by 2025.

  • 90% of states, 75% of territories, and 33% of tribes had a suicide prevention plan.
  • For states, champions receiving the highest average activity rating were nonprofit organizations and survivors of suicide loss; these champions were also rated the most influential.
  • Six states (12%) said it was “somewhat likely” and none said, “very likely” that they could reach the national goal for suicide reduction of 25% by 2025.
  • 37% of states reported state funding ≤$100,000, including 11 states (22%) that reported no state appropriations.
  • 81% of states and 50% of territories reported increased awareness of suicide prevention as a public health issue as a key facilitator to suicide prevention. The facilitator reported most frequently by tribes was federal funding dedicated to suicide prevention (42%).
  • 73% of states and one-third of tribes identified a lack of surveillance resources as a barrier.
  • 88% of states and 50% of territories reported insufficient funding as barriers.

The report highlights gaps across all the above domains and suggests key areas for improvement, including a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention inclusive of strong infrastructure, multi-sectoral partnerships, and implementation and evaluation of prevention strategies with the best available evidence.

Download the Report

Download The State of State, Territorial, and Tribal Suicide Prevention Report pdf icon[PDF – 1 MB] and learn what states, territories, and tribes are doing and can do to help prevent suicide.

Additional Resources
suicide technical package cover

States and communities can use resources such as CDC’s Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package of Policy, Programs, and Practices pdf icon[PDF – 6.1 MB] to better understand suicide, prioritize evidence-based comprehensive suicide prevention, and save lives.

SPRC infrastructure recommendations

Suicide prevention is more than crisis services and treatment. A strong state infrastructure serves as a solid foundation for effective, comprehensive, and sustained suicide prevention. It includes six essential elements: Authorize, Lead, Partner, Examine, Build, and Guide. States can use the State Suicide Prevention Infrastructure Recommendations pdf icon[PDF – 838 KB]external icon as a solid foundation for effective, comprehensive, and sustained suicide prevention.

SPRC call to action

The Office of the Surgeon General, in collaboration with the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance), released The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Implement the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. pdf icon[PDF – 707 KB]external icon This report outlines the actions that communities and individuals can take to reduce the rates of suicide and help improve resilience.