Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan

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Suicide is a critical public health problem in the United States. Despite national, state, and local efforts to reduce suicide, rates continue to increase. A forward-looking effort, built upon new evidence and past accomplishments, is needed to reduce suicide and suicide attempts.

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Download the Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan [PDF – 266 KB]

Download the Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan Overview [PDF – 185 KB]

Read more about CDC’s Research Priorities in Suicide Prevention [PDF – 3 pages]


No lives lost to suicide.


Use data, science, and partnerships to identify and implement effective suicide prevention strategies to foster healthy and resilient communities across the United States.

Strategic Priorities and Goals

Strategic Priority: Data

Use new and existing data to better understand, monitor, and prevent suicide and suicidal behavior

  • Improve the quality and enhance the use of existing data sources and systems
  • Identify and leverage new data sources and methods
Strategic Priority: Science

Identify risk and protective factors and effective policies, programs, and practices for suicide prevention in vulnerable populations

  • Improve understanding of the factors that increase or decrease suicide risk in vulnerable populations
  • Evaluate suicide prevention strategies in vulnerable populations
Strategic Priority: Action

Build the foundation for CDC’s National Suicide Prevention Program

Strategic Priority: Collaboration

Develop and implement wide-reaching partnership and communication strategies to raise awareness and advance suicide prevention activities

  • Work with partners to advance a coordinated and comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention
  • Raise awareness of CDC’s coordinated and comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention

We would like to acknowledge the many individuals who contributed to the development of the CDC Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan. We give special thanks to our Rapid Design Team, including leadership from the Division of Injury Prevention (DIP) and the Division of Violence Prevention (DVP), for their direction, expertise, and guidance throughout this process.

Additionally, we extend our gratitude to the NCIPC staff and partners who contributed to this plan for their time, insight, and determination to see this effort through to the end.


CDC. “Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package of Policy, Programs, and Practices.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017. [PDF – 2 MB]

CDC. “The Public Health System & the 10 Essential Public Health Services.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, June 26, 2018.

NAASP. “Transforming Communities: Key Elements for the implementation of comprehensive community-based suicide prevention.” National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, 2016. [PDF – 68 pages]

SAMHSA. “Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.” Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2019.­ingsReport2018.pdf [PDF – 82 pages]

Stone et al. “Vital Signs: Trends in State Suicide Rates – United States, 1999–2016 and Circumstances Contributing to Suicide – 27 States, 2015.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, June 8, 2018.

Preventing Multiple Forms of Violence: A Strategic Vision for Connecting the Dots. Atlanta, GA: Division of Violence Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016.