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Improve Suicide Data Collection

Improve and expand surveillance systems in order to:

1) Monitor trends and profiles of at-risk populations. 
2) Assess the impact of existing policies and programs. 
3) Inform the development of future efforts.




Objective:
   Conduct a broad-based multi-faceted assessment including both process and outcome measures, with a strong focus on strengthening and expanding surveillance and data systems.

WHAT VERMONT CAN DO

Individuals & Families:

  • Support survivors of suicide in being open about their experiences of loss, to help other families realize that reporting a death as a suicide is courageous and helps prevention efforts.
  • Improve data collection on suicide attempts – via National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS).

Organizations:
Non-profit, Community-Based, Faith-Based, and Businesses

  • Promote participation in data collection and bring awareness of the importance of data collection to guide suicide prevention activities.
  • Implement policies and protocols based on data found in Vermont.
  • Participate in ongoing efforts to develop and refine programs and trainings.
  • Schools, Colleges, and Universities:
  • Participate in data collection and surveillance.
  • Implement policies and protocols based on data found in Vermont.

Healthcare:

  • Participate in data collection and surveillance.
  • Implement policies and protocols based on data found in Vermont.
  • Improve data collection on suicide attempts – via National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS).  

Policy and Systems:

  • Use data to guide and inform decisions and policy development relating to suicide prevention.
  • Encourage law enforcement to develop and implement standardized protocols for death scene investigations.
  • Increase the systematic use of data collection from crisis workers, mental health emergency professionals, schools and other sources.
  • Produce reports on suicide and suicide attempts, and integrate data from multiple Vermont data management systems.
  • Explore mandating reports on suicide attempts to Vermont Department of Health.
  • Distribute data via website to appropriate parties and professionals.
  • Develop and support a repository of research resources to help increase the amount and quality of research on suicide prevention and care in the aftermath of suicidal behaviors.


VT Suicide Prevention Data and Surveillance Work Group:
The Agency of Human Services has established an inter-departmental Suicide Prevention Data and Surveillance Work Group that meets regularly to discuss important work and initiatives related to developing a data-informed suicide safe care system in Vermont. 

The Work Group is committed to the continuous, systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of health-related data needed for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of a public health approach to suicide prevention. This work informs:

  1. selection of suicide prevention strategies and design of programs; 
  2. documentation of the impact of interventions, and/or tracking progress towards specified goals; 
  3. monitoring and clarifying the epidemiology of health problems, to allow priorities to be set and to inform public health policy and strategies.
 For More Information contact:
Tom Delaney, Vermont Child Health Improvement Project, University of Vermont: Thomas.Delaney@uvm.edu

Sally Kerschner, Vermont Department of Health