As the country continues to grapple with the enormous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with more than 47,500 Americans losing their lives to suicide in 2019 alone, national action is urgently needed to address this critical, and yet preventable, public health issue. To help drive efforts, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Office of the Surgeon General (OSG)—in collaboration with the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance)—recently released The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Implement the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (Call to Action). This new resource seeks to advance progress towards full implementation of the 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, the nation’s roadmap for suicide prevention, by identifying six key actions—and corresponding strategies and priorities—that must be taken now. Developed in consultation with many public and private sector partners, and guided by scientific evidence and insights from people with lived experience, the Call to Action focuses on the following:
· Action 1. Activate a broad-based public health response to suicide
· Action 2. Address upstream factors that impact suicide
· Action 3. Ensure lethal means safety
· Action 4. Support adoption of evidence-based care for suicide risk
· Action 5. Enhance crisis care and care transitions
· Action 6. Improve the quality, timeliness, and use of suicide-related data
To read more about the Call to Action and the National Strategy, click the highlighted text above.