Promote awareness that suicide is a public health problem.
Objective: Increase public knowledge about depression, mental health conditions, suicide risk and protective factors, and how to help.
WHAT VERMONT CAN DO
Individuals & Families:
- Talk about suicide openly in all your circles – the size of the problem, that it is largely preventable, and that everyone can help.
- Share the facts about suicide and suicide prevention through easy-to-access and visible ways – social media, print media, person-to-person. Take every opportunity to dispel the myths.
- Become involved in the community of suicide prevention work.
Non-profit, Community-Based, Faith-Based, and Businesses
- Maintain and support outreach to share information and training that will help people understand the public health danger suicide represents.
- Hold awareness events and trainings in mental health promotion and suicide prevention at your location and through Employee Assistance Programs – at staff meetings, faith services, and for the people you serve.
- Link to and support the Umatter websites for youth and adults, and the website of the Vermont Suicide Prevention Center, through your own website, and follow the Vermont Suicide Prevention Center’s Facebook Page. These sites provide a research-based approach to suicide prevention.
- Share educational materials in highly visible locations – lobbies, vestries, waiting rooms.
Schools, Colleges, and Universities:
- Provide information about suicide and mental health in all health-related classes. Include suicide in public health studies.
- Hold suicide prevention training for staff, faculty and students.
- Disseminate age-appropriate prevention messages that work for the specific setting.
- Host events around national awareness days, such as Suicide Prevention Awareness Day, and Depression Awareness Month.
- Approach suicide as a diagnosable mental health condition in all healthcare settings. Approach suicide prevention as you would tobacco prevention, heart disease prevention, and diabetes prevention.
- Promote the messages of suicide prevention as other public health issues are promoted in healthcare settings.
Policy and Systems:
- Maintain a central source of current and effective suicide prevention messaging and resources.
- Support a public education campaign about mental health conditions and the continuum of services across prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery.
- Collect and disseminate data about the incidence of suicide and suicide attempts to inform policies, programming and funding related to suicide prevention in Vermont.