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Reducing Suicide: A National Imperative
Education and the Administration on Aging to encourage national programs for youth and elderly populations.
Programs that have shown success within select populations should be expanded. For example, the Air Force program should be adopted by hierarchical organizations that employ groups with increased suicide rates, including police and rescue workers. Gatekeeper training programs and screening programs for youth and elderly should be implemented more broadly within work and educational settings to identify and intervene with those at suicide-risk. There should be a systemic identification of high suicide risk groups for targeted intervention.
Pilot programs for coping and resiliency training as part of the curriculum for school-aged children should be implemented, evaluated, and scaled up when feasible. Given the involvement of cumulative life-stressors in suicide and the existing efficacy data on these programs, it is expected that this intervention will reduce suicidality as well as other unwanted outcomes.
Restriction of access or reduced lethality of common means of suicide should be legislated (e.g., gun safety, barriers on bridges, altering the content of cooking gas, packaging of commonly used pills, and poison control).
Long-term public education campaigns and media training should be evaluated for their effectiveness both to change the public’s knowledge and attitudes and to reduce suicide and suicidal behaviors.