Means Matter - Harvard School of Public Health web resource. Most efforts to prevent suicide focus on why people take their lives. But as we understand more about who attempts suicide and when and where and why, it becomes increasingly clear that how a person attempts–the means they use–plays a key role in whether they live or die. “Means reduction” (reducing a suicidal person’s access to highly lethal means) is an important part of a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention.

13 Reasons Why Toolkit - SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education) brought together a group of 75 leading experts in mental health, suicide prevention, and education, as well as healthcare professionals to develop tools to help, encourage positive responses to the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. The toolkit provides practical guidance and has reliable resources for parents, educators, clinicians, youth and media related to the content of the series (suicide, school violence, sexual assault, bullying, substance abuse, etc.). Using the toolkit and resources developed will help to encourage conversations, identify those at risk and prevent unexpected tragedies.

Transforming Communities: Key Elements for the Implementation of Comprehensive Community-Based Suicide Prevention - Developed by the Action Alliance, this resource presents seven key elements for comprehensive community-based suicide prevention, identified via a review of relevant programs, guidance, and models. The elements are key considerations that should guide community-based suicide prevention efforts—aimed at helping communities create policies, programs, and services that reduce suicide and improve individual, family, and community health. They are meant as broad guidance for the field and can help inform the development of suicide prevention programs and future resources.

CDC: Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package of Policy, Programs, and Practices - This technical package helps states and communities prioritize strategies to prevent suicide.

Substance Use and Suicide: A Nexus Requiring a Public Health Approach(SAMHSA) - This In Brief summarizes the relationship between substance use and suicide and provides state and tribal prevention professionals with information on the scope of the problem, an understanding of traditional barriers to collaboration and current programming, and ways to work together on substance misuse and suicide prevention strategies.

Collaboration Continuum for Substance Abuse and Suicide Prevention - a Web-based resource designed to help suicide prevention programs build and strengthen connections with their substance abuse prevention and treatment counterparts. The Continuum contains a collection of practical tools and resources to help partners be effective and strategic in their work together. Partners also can use this worksheet to find out where you are on the Continuum and to identify strengths, areas of improvement, and steps for reinforcing your partnership. The website also provides materials on what the phases of collaboration look like.

Suicide Prevention and the Clinical Workforce: Guidelines for Training of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention – set of new training guidelines for better preparing health, human services, and behavioral health professionals to treat those at risk for suicide.

The President's Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS) will focus on a holistic public health approach to suicide prevention. PREVENTS seeks to change the culture surrounding mental health and suicide prevention through enhanced community integration, prioritized research activities, and implementation strategies that emphasize improved overall health and well-being. The REACH campaign is for everyone. 


Illinois training

National webinars

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) conducted this two-day workshop from May 26-27, 2021. The primary goal of this workshop was to share cutting-edge findings across diverse specialties and multi-disciplinary fields to examine sleep as a biomarker and novel treatment target to inform etiology and advance innovation in suicide prevention. This workshop brought together clinicians, behavioral scientists, epidemiologists, neuroscientists, and public health experts to discuss the current state of the science in sleep medicine and suicide prevention.

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) and partners shared SPRC’s new report, Data Infrastructure: Recommendations for State Suicide Prevention. This report is a supplement to SPRC's Recommendations for State Suicide Prevention Infrastructure. Webinar participants learned about six concrete recommendations from the resource, focused on creating infrastructure to support data-driven decision-making in suicide prevention. Presenters from Colorado and Texas shared examples of their states' data infrastructure.

The sixth and final session of the ICRC-S 2018-19 webinar series, Preventing Suicide by Promoting Social Connectedness: Exploring Systems Approaches and Connectedness in Communities took place on July 22, 2019. During this webinar, Ann Marie White, Ed.D. Director of the Office of Mental Health Promotion and Associate Professor at the University of Rochester Medical Center, reviewed systems approaches to identify and understand social connectedness in a number of settings and contexts. Dr. White provided a brief overview of social connectedness in communities and shared examples such as applying network analyses to identify and understand effective social connectedness in community-based social contexts relevant to suicide prevention.

Suicide Prevention - National and State Resources

Warning signs - The following signs may mean someone is at risk for suicide. The risk of suicide is greater if a behavior is new or has increased and if it seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. If you or someone you know exhibits any of these signs, seek help as soon as possible by calling the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
  • Sleeping too little or too much.
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

National and State Resources

For additional suicide prevention information, please get in touch with the Suicide Prevention Program, Illinois Department of Public Health at 217-782-3300.