SAMHSA's Tribal Training and Technical Assistance Center

Suicide Prevention

A list of organizations, links, articles, and other resources for suicide prevention.

Find organizations, agencies, and networks for suicide prevention below, or jump to Articles, Guides, Manuals, and Toolkits, in the second half of the list.

Organizations, Agencies, and Networks

Native-Specific Organizations

The American Indian Institute at the University of Oklahoma
The University of Oklahoma website provides links to materials, services, and prevention programs throughout Indian Country.

The Healthy Aboriginal Network
The Healthy Aboriginal Network promotes health, wellness, and literacy through comic books and animated short films on health and social issues for aboriginal youth.

Indian Health Service (IHS) Division of Behavioral Health
The Division of Behavioral Health is responsible for IHS efforts to monitor, treat, and prevent mental and behavioral health conditions and alcohol and substance abuse, including suicide prevention. See sections on Programs, Collaborations, Best Practices, and Resources for relevant information related to suicide prevention and other behavioral health issues.

One Sky Center
One Sky Center is a National Resource Center for American Indians and Alaska Natives. It is dedicated to improving prevention and treatment of substance use disorder and mental illness across Indian Country. Current initiatives include the Indian Country Meth Initiative, Suicide Prevention, and a Native-to-Native Mentorship program for graduate students and junior and mid-career faculty interested in resurch on substance use disorders.

SPRC American Indian/Alaska Native Websites
The SPRC American Indian and Alaska Native web pages are intended to be a resource for people working to prevent suicide and promote wellness in native communities.

Turtle Island Native Network: Healing and Wellness
Turtle Island Native Network is a native-owned and operated suicide prevention website.

Non-Native Organizations

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is a 501(c)(3) organization that is at the forefront of a wide range of suicide prevention initiatives including groundbreaking research, new educational campaigns, innovative demonstration projects, and critical policy work.

Best Practices Registry (BPR) For Suicide Prevention
Section III of the BPR lists programs, practices, policies, protocols, and informational materials whose content has been reviewed according to current program development standards and recommendations. Section III programs and materials are designed for use in specific settings such as schools, communities, clinics, or campuses, as opposed to Section II statements, which offer general guidance to the field.

The National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP)
The National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) is a searchable online registry of mental and/or substance use disorder interventions that have been reviewed and rated by independent reviewers. The purpose of this registry is to assist the public in identifying approaches to preventing and treating mental illness and substance use disorders that have been scientifically tested and that can be readily disseminated to the field. NREPP is one way that SAMHSA is working to improve access to information on tested interventions and thereby reduce the lag time between the creation of scientific knowledge and its practical application in the field.

State of Alaska Suicide Prevention
The Alaska State Suicide Prevention website provides information on suicide, mental health, and related issues in Alaska Native and American Indian populations.

Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
The SPRC provides prevention support, training, and resources to assist organizations, individuals, and communities to develop suicide prevention programs, interventions, and policies, and to advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.

Articles, Guides, Manuals, and Toolkits

Native-Specific Resources

30 Years Later: The Long-Term Effect of Boarding Schools on Alaska Natives and Their Communities – 2005 (PDF | 373 KB)
The history of formal schooling for Alaska Natives, from the time of the U.S. acquisition of Alaska in 1867 to the present, is a troubled one. The initial goals of formal education in the north were to Christianize and “civilize” Alaska Natives (Darnell and Hoem, 1996, p. 62). Over time, the federal, territorial, and state governments established a boarding school system to accomplish these goals. For the first three quarters of the 20th century, Alaska Native children were sent to boarding schools or boarding homes either inside or outside of Alaska.

Aboriginal Youth: A Manual of Promising Suicide Prevention Strategies
This manual of promising practices was developed by the Centre for Suicide Prevention, which is a program of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Alberta Division. The purpose of the manual is to provide high-quality and user-friendly advice and information in order to facilitate the development of successful programs. As such, the manual recommends a number of prevention strategies that follow the best evidence about what works and what should be done to prevent suicide among aboriginal youth.

An American Indian and Alaska Native Suicide Prevention Hotline: Literature Review and Discussion with Experts – 2009 (PDF | 242 KB)
The purpose of this project was to obtain background information related to an American Indian and Alaska Native Suicide Prevention Hotline for youth and adults. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) currently funds the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and supports a pilot project entitled Lifeline Native American Community Liaison Initiative. This study was conducted by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) with support from SAMHSA.

Assessment and Planning Toolkit for Suicide Prevention in First Nations Communities Prepared for the First Nations Centre, National Aboriginal Health Organization – 2005 (PDF | 999 KB)
The Assessment and Planning Toolkit for Suicide Prevention in First Nations Communities was developed to help individuals and groups who are interested in addressing the issue of suicide in their communities. It provides a framework to guide First Nations Communities in assessing and creating a suicide prevention plan. Communities are encouraged to adapt the tool to meet their own needs. The toolkit also provides information and research on suicide prevention to increase awareness and encourage discussion.

A College Suicide Prevention Model for American Indian Students – 2009 (PDF | 101 KB)
College student suicide prevention efforts are important to campus administrators and mental health professionals due to increasing concerns about managing suicidal students. This article describes the development and preliminary effectiveness of a campus suicide prevention program designed for American Indian students who are at higher risk for suicide compared with the general population.

Continuity of Care for Suicide Prevention and Research, 2011 (PDF | 2 MB)
This is a comprehensive report offering recommendations for the ongoing care of patients at risk for suicide who have been treated in emergency departments and hospitals. This is the first review of continuity of care as a means to prevent suicide. The report includes ten principles for improved continuity of care, and provides real-world examples of seven integrated systems of care in the U.S. and Europe including the White Mountain Apache approach.

Cultural Considerations in Adolescent Suicide Prevention and Psychosocial Treatment – 2008
Ethnic groups differ in rates of suicidal behaviors among youth, the context within which suicidal behavior occurs (e.g., different precipitants, vulnerability and protective factors, and reactions to suicidal behaviors), and patterns of help-seeking. In this article, the authors discuss the cultural context of suicidal behavior among African Americans, American Indian and Alaska Natives, Asian American and Pacific Islanders, and Latino adolescents, and the implications of these contexts for suicide prevention and treatment.

Ensuring the Seventh Generation: A Youth Suicide Prevention Toolkit for Tribal Child Welfare Programs (PDF | 3.1 MB)
This youth suicide prevention toolkit is published by the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA).

The Northwest Suicide Prevention Tribal Action Plan, 2009-2013 (PDF | 443 KB)
The Northwest Suicide Prevention Tribal Action Plan's mission is to reduce suicide rates among American Indians and Alaska Natives living in the Pacific Northwest by increasing tribal capacity and improving collaboration. While the Action Plan was developed for the Northwest Tribes and their partnering agencies to guide program planning, catalyze community outreach efforts, and foster a coordinated response to suicide in tribal communities, it can be a useful model for other communities.

Spirituality and Attempted Suicide Among American Indians – 2003 (PDF | 118 KB)
American Indians exhibit suicide-related behaviors at rates much higher than the general population. This study examines the relation of spirituality to the lifetime prevalence of attempted suicide in a probability sample of American Indians.

To Live To See the Great Day That Dawns: Preventing Suicide by American Indian and Alaska Native Youth – 2010
The purpose of this guide is to support AI/AN communities and those who serve them in developing effective, culturally appropriate suicide prevention plans.

Towards the Development of a Nunavut Suicide Prevention Strategy: A Summary Report on the 2009 Community Consultations (PDF | 1.2 MB)
The Nunavut’s Suicide Prevention Strategy working group released this summary report of the 2009 community consultations on the development of a territorial suicide prevention strategy. The working group focused on public engagement to ensure that all voices were heard in the process of developing this strategy.

Traditional Healing and Suicide Prevention in Native American Communities: Research and Policy Considerations – 2006 (PDF | 92 KB)
This manuscript was prepared under NIH Contract No. MI-60823, with funding support from the National Institutes of Health Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) and technical assistance from the National Institute of Mental Health.

Non-Native Resources

After a Suicide: A Postvention Primer for Providers – 2006 (PDF | 270 KB)
Developed by Montgomery County Emergency Services, Inc., this guide was written to help providers deal with suicide loss and reviews some basic principles of suicide postvention.

At-A-Glance: Safe Reporting on Suicide – 2007 (PDF | 274 KB)
The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) developed this two-page summary of the 2001 publication "Reporting on Suicide: Recommendations for the Media."

Help-Seeking Among Men: Implications for Suicide Prevention (PDF | 171 KB)
This study was supported by a grant to the American Association of Suicidology by the Irving and Barbara Gutin Charitable Family Foundation. With but one exception world-wide, males complete suicide at rates exceeding those of females. The male to female suicide ratio in the U.S. is greater than 4 to 1. Explanatory hypotheses for these findings include gender role behaviors, specifically the greater involvement of men in high-risk health behaviors and the greater propensity of women to seek and use supports for help when in need. This paper explores what is known about gender differences in help-seeking behavior to determine factors that may promote increased help-seeking among men. On the basis of this research, we propose public health intervention approaches that have potential to motivate men at risk for suicide to seek and receive help.

Moving Forward, Comprehensive Integrated Mental Health Plan, 2006-2011
Moving Forward is the work of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, and other state agencies, boards, and commissions. This plan is a response to a statutory requirement that such a plan be developed (AS 47.30.660).

Preventing Suicide: Program Activities Guide
This program activities guide was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. The CDC continues to research effective prevention strategies and to develop and evaluate new ones. This guide provides an opportunity for the CDC to communicate information about what works to practitioners in the field as data becomes available.
Reach Out began in Australia in 1992 after the founder lost his cousin to suicide. This site uses youth-orientated, web-based media to provide resources and support for other youth who might be thinking about suicide.

Reporting on Suicide: Recommendations for the Media (PDF | 156 KB)
In 2001, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute of Mental Health, Office of the Surgeon General, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, American Association of Suicidology and Annenberg Public Policy Center developed this guide with recommendations for the media in the safe reporting of suicide.

The Role of Faith Communities in Preventing Suicide from the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) – 2009 (PDF | 460 KB)
This is a report of an interfaith suicide prevention dialogue held March 12 and 13, 2008 in Rockville, MD by the SPRC and SAMHSA. This publication is intended to support Objective 2.4 of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention: to increase the number of nationally organized faith communities adopting institutional policies promoting suicide prevention.

Strategic Direction for the Prevention of Suicidal Behavior: Promoting Individual, Family, and Community Connectedness to Prevent Suicidal Behavior (PDF | 507 KB)
This document describes a five-year vision for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) work to prevent fatal and nonfatal suicidal behavior. The strategic direction we propose is to prevent suicidal behavior by building and strengthening connectedness or social bonds within and among persons, families, and communities.

Suicide Facts at a Glance – 2012 (PDF | 140 KB)
This fact sheet was developed and produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Suicide Postvention (PDF | 44 KB)
This article, written by Stephen E. Brock from the California State University Sacramento’s Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation & School Psychology, examines suicide postvention by first exploring the consequences of being a survivor and the goals of postvention. Next, the special issues generated by a suicide death and the topics of preparing for, providing, and evaluating suicide postvention are reviewed. Finally, this article concludes with a brief comment on future directions in the development of suicide postvention programs.

Suicide Prevention Toolkit: Garrett Lee Smith Youth Suicide Prevention Toolkit
The Mental Health America of Wisconsin's "Getting Started" toolkit provides resources and tools to assist in creating youth suicide prevention projects. This toolkit assumes its audience to be a community-wide collaborative of agencies and individuals working together to prevent suicide in the community. While containing materials that are community coalition specific, due to the youth focus of this prevention project, the school system is given special attention.

Suicide: The Forever Decision
To help save lives, the best-selling book Suicide the Forever Decision, For those Thinking about Suicide and for Those who Know, Love and Counsel Them, by Paul Quinnett, Ph.D. has been made available in a free electronic format to anyone in the world who wishes to read it or share it with others. Electronic copying, translation and distribution is strongly encouraged.

Understanding Suicide: Fact Sheet – 2010 (PDF | 310 KB)
This fact sheet was developed and produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

World Cultural Psychiatry Research Review
World Cultural Psychiatry Research Review (2008) - Vol. 3, N. 2: Suicide and Culture.

Last Updated: 05/26/2015