Strategic Priority: Science

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

Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan

While people of any age, race/ethnicity, and gender/sex are at risk for suicide, data have shown that certain populations, including but not limited to, veterans, rural populations, sexual and gender minorities (i.e., LGBTQ), middle-aged adults, and tribal populations, currently experience substantially higher rates of suicide than the general population. Gaps exist in our current understanding of how best to reach and prevent suicide in these vulnerable populations. To bridge this gap, existing prevention policies, programs, and practices must be rigorously evaluated for impact, and additional research is needed to identify population-specific factors that decrease suicide risk in these subgroups. Improved understanding of these factors can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of new culturally relevant strategies and approaches to expand the evidence base and prevent suicide in more tailored and targeted ways. Additionally, this new information can be used to adapt existing policies, programs, and practices with the best available evidence, as found in CDC’s Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package of Policy, Programs, and Practices [PDF – 194 KB] (CDC, 2017). This technical package provides information on prevention strategies and approaches to achieve and sustain suicide rate reductions and, in tandem with the Action Alliance’s Transforming communities: Key elements for the implementation of comprehensive community-based suicide prevention, can serve as a road map for prevention decision-making (NAASP, 2016).

GOAL 3: Improve understanding of the factors that increase or decrease suicide risk in vulnerable populations

OBJECTIVE 3.1: Conduct studies to identify population- specific risk and protective factors that can be used to guide allocation of science and policy resources to prevent suicide

OBJECTIVE 3.2: Work with partners to improve insights into risk and protective factors, inform prevention activities, and support sustainability of suicide prevention in vulnerable populations

GOAL 4: Evaluate suicide prevention strategies in vulnerable populations

OBJECTIVE 4.1: Rigorously evaluate existing policies, programs, and practices with the best available evidence in vulnerable populations

OBJECTIVE 4.2: Identify and rigorously evaluate innovative suicide prevention strategies that have not yet been evaluated or not evaluated in specific vulnerable populations

OBJECTIVE 4.3: Conduct systematic reviews of policies, programs, and practices with effectiveness on suicide risk in specified vulnerable populations

OBJECTIVE 4.4: Update the Technical Package [PDF – 194 KB]