Building Stronger Foundations: The Intersection of Suicide Prevention Infrastructure and Behavioral Health Services

Suicide is a global public health concern, and the need for robust prevention infrastructure is more critical than ever. This learning session delved into the multi-faceted approach the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) has taken to support states and territories in building effective and sustainable suicide prevention infrastructure. During this session, we explored the intersection of community behavioral health services and suicide prevention infrastructure through shared risk and protective factors, crisis supports, and focus on social determinants of health. Participants learned about:

  • SPRC’s Recommendations for State Suicide Prevention Infrastructure including the six essential elements of prevention infrastructure
  • Evaluating suicide prevention infrastructure using the State and Territorial Suicide Prevention Needs Assessment (SNA)
  • Current national priority areas and key findings of the 2023 SNA
  • SPRC resources and tools to support comprehensive suicide prevention infrastructure
  • A case study demonstrating how effective suicide prevention infrastructure tangibly reduces suicide rates

During this session, we also briefly touched upon the broader significance of these elements within the wider suicide prevention landscape. This session aims to equip participants with the knowledge, tools, and inspiration to address shared gaps in effective suicide prevention and promote progress towards sustainable suicide prevention infrastructure.

NOTE: During the session, the term shift from gatekeeper to community helper was discussed. See the statement below:

Moving forward, SPRC will transition from using the term "gatekeeper" to "community helper" in all references related to our training or programming. This change is rooted in our ongoing effort to use language that reflects our values of inclusivity and support. The term "gatekeeper" has been identified as carrying an exclusionary connotation, and we believe "community helper" more accurately describes the vital role individuals play in suicide prevention within their communities. This update is not just about changing a term; it's about ensuring our language fosters a sense of belonging and support for everyone involved in the critical work of suicide prevention.

Additional resources shared during the session are available below:

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