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 @ 605-367-5236.

What is a Suicide Prevention Coalition?

A coalition is a voluntary, formal agreement and collaboration between groups or sectors of a community in which each group retains its identity, but all agree to work together toward a common goal of building a safe and healthy community.

How to Build a Community Coalition

FY21 South Dakota Prevention Network

Building a Coalition to prevent suicide

Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF)

For more information on how to build a coalition, please contact state Prevention Program staff @ 605-367-5236.

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. This 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 wellbeing 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.
  • Workplace Suicide Prevention: A call to action to all workplaces and professional associations — now is the time to implement the National Guidelines for Workplace Suicide Prevention.

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 behavioral 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.
  • Transforming Tribal Communities: Indigenous Perspectives on Suicide Prevention Culturally relevant suicide prevention strategies that are endorsed by community members can lead to long-lasting change. The following six-to-eight-minute webinar clips, adapted from SPRC’s Tribal Community of Learning Series, feature expert advice on addressing the root causes of mental health issues and suicide in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities by drawing on community strengths.
  • Best and Promising Practices for the Implementation of Zero Suicide in Indian Country: Zero Suicide is a framework to support suicide-safer care in health and behavioral health care systems. In the past ten years, many studies have shown its effectiveness in reducing suicide deaths across diverse health systems. However, when health and behavioral health care systems in Indian Country have attempted to employ the framework, there are often challenges related to culture, language, or concepts of what healing and wellness may mean to the Tribe or to the community, as well as differences in resources and views of standardized measurement and data gathering. Adding to the challenges of implementing Zero Suicide as a framework in Indian Country are historical, intergenerational, and modern-day trauma and their impact on the health and well-being of Indigenous people.

Healthcare Toolkits

  • Suicide Prevention Toolkit for Rural Primary Care Practices: This Toolkit can be used by all primary care providers, including those in non-rural settings. It contains tools, information, and resources to implement state-of-the art suicide prevention practices and overcome barriers to treating suicidal patients in the primary care setting. You’ll find assessment guidelines, safety plans, billing tips, sample protocols, and more.
  • 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.
  • At-Risk in Primary Care – Adolescents is an interactive role-play simulation that prepares primary care practitioners to screen adolescents for depression and suicide using evidence-based tools to conduct brief interventions, and coordinate referrals to treatment. This virtual patient simulation provides hands-on practice applying motivational interviewing to engage adolescent patients in important conversations about mental health in a primary care context.
  • After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Colleges of Veterinary Medicine: provides guidance in the event of a death by suicide of a student within a school or college of veterinary medicine. This toolkit contains strategies for helping the veterinary medical community to grieve, to mitigate the risk of contagion, and to attend to the main details of crisis response, communication, and next steps for prevention. 
  • After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Medical Schools: provides guidance in the event of a death by suicide of a medical student. This toolkit contains strategies for helping the medical community to grieve, to mitigate the risk of contagion, and to attend to the main details of crisis response, communication, and next steps for prevention. 
  • After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Residency/Fellowship Programs: provides guidance in the event of a trainee’s death by suicide within a physician residency or fellowship program. This toolkit contains strategies and guidance for hospital and program leaders, helping the community to grieve, mitigate the risk of contagion, and to attend to the main details of crisis response, communication, and next steps for prevention. 

Senior Care Toolkits

  • Get Connected, Linking Older Adults with Resources on Medication, Alcohol and Mental Health Toolkit: Designed for organizations that provide services to older adults, this toolkit offers information and materials to help understanding the issues associated with substance misuse and mental illness in older adults.  The toolkit also contains materials to educate older adults.
  • 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 toolkit 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.