Community Toolkits for Preventing Suicide

Community Toolkits for Preventing Suicide

Communities can play a critical role in suicide prevention. The toolkits below are a step-by-step guide for communities to engage in suicide prevention. These toolkits include: Building a Coalition, Employer Toolkits, Native American Toolkits, Health Care Toolkits, Senior Care Toolkits, Military Member and Veteran Related Toolkits. Each toolkit has a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention. The first step to take as a community would be to evaluate creating a community coalition. For more information on community toolkits, please contact state Prevention Program staff @ 605-773-3123.

What is a Suicide Prevention Coalition?

Coalitions are groups of diverse individuals or organizations of individuals who work together to reach a common goal. It is an organization of organizations. By definition, in a coalition not everyone agrees or totally has the same interests.

How to Build a Community Coalition

Existing Prevention Coalitions

Building a Coalition to prevent suicide (PDF Download)

Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF)

For more information on how to build a coalition, please contact state Prevention Program staff @ 605-773-3123.

Employer Toolkit

  • Reducing the risk of suicide: a toolkit for employers: The mission of this toolkit is to help employers reduce the risk of suicide. The resource supports senior leadership, line managers, HR and occupational health and safety professionals identify a member of staff who may have suicidal feelings and gives practical advice on how to deal with a crisis situation. This toolkit will embed suicide prevention strategies in your organization’s health and well being policies, guide your approach to supporting those at risk and act as a resource to provide support across the workforce. 
  • Addressing Suicide Prevention in the Workplace: This page provides why employers should address suicide prevention and how they can take action.

Native American Toolkit

  • To Live To See the Great Day That Dawns: Preventing Suicide by American Indian and Alaska Native Youth and Young Adults: This manual lays the groundwork for community-based suicide prevention and mental health promotion plans for American Indian and Alaska Native teens and young adults. It addresses risks, protective factors and awareness, and describes prevention models for action.
  • Hope for Life Day Toolkit: This toolkit is geared towards professionals and grass-roots organizers working in AI/AN communities to implement a community-wide Hope for Life Day on September 10 of each year.The National American Indian/Alaska Native Hope for Life Day coincides with World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10 of each year. This toolkit will help community organizers take specific steps to change the conversation around suicide, initiate action for awareness, and foster hope in the effort to reduce or eliminate suicide in their community. Organizers are encouraged to host culturally tailored events in their community to promote hope, life, cultural resiliency, and community transformation.

Healthcare Toolkits

  • Depression Toolkit for Primary Care Clinicians:The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) Adolescent Toolkit: “This Depression Toolkit is intended to help primary care clinicians effectively assess, treat and monitor depression in adolescents with this condition. The kit will provide you with easy-to-use tools to engage the member in the process of treatment, and to educate and empower the member to participate in his or her own treatment plan. As a clinician, you can effectively select an appropriate management approach for treating depression by using the evidenced-based guidelines and management tools for treating depression that were adopted by the American Psychiatric Association. These guidelines cannot replace good clinical judgment, and they should not be the sole source of guidance for adolescent depression management.”
  • Zero Suicide Toolkit: Use this toolkit to begin implementation of the ten steps to begin a Zero Suicide in your hospital or behavioral health setting.

Senior Care Toolkits

  • Promoting Emotional Health and Preventing Suicide: This toolkit equips senior living staff with resources to promote mental health, suicide prevention, and encourages active participation among residents. It includes guidelines for integrating suicide prevention into ongoing programs, hands-on tools, and training manuals.
  • Late Life Suicide Prevention Toolkit:Created by the Canadian Coalition for Seniors’ Mental Health (CCSMH), the Late Life Suicide Prevention Toolkit is an educational program developed for use by front-line providers, medical and mental health care clinicians, and health care trainees. It focuses on how to identify suicide warning signs, establish rapport and assess suicide risk and resiliency factors, and manage immediate and ongoing risk for suicide among older adults. The Toolkit contains:
    1. Suicide Assessment & Prevention for Older Adults: Life Saving Tools for Health Care Providers DVD
    2. PowerPoint presentation (57 slides)
    3. Facilitator’s Guide (19 pages)
    4. Suicide Assessment & Prevention for Older Adults clinician pocket card
    5. CCSMH National Guidelines for Seniors’ Mental Health: The Assessment of Suicide Risk and Prevention of Suicide

Military Member and Veteran Toolkits

  • Community Provider Toolkit:Developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, this online community provider toolkit is aimed at delivering support, therapeutic tools, and resources to community providers treating veterans for mental health concerns.
  • VA Suicide Prevention Resources: Community Toolkit: Use the items on this page to create your own tooklit and to find information about common issues that many Veterans face, as well as concrete steps to help you support a Veteran who may be dealing with emotional distress or be at risk for suicide.


Available Trainings: There are several suicide prevention and mental health trainings available that may be helpful for your community.  Click here to see the upcoming training dates and times.

Click here for specific descriptions of all of the trainings

For more information on how to host a training in your area, please contact state Prevention Program staff @ 605-773-3123.