Suicide-Safer Communities

Recognizing community commitments to suicide-safety

The Suicide-Safer Communities designation honors communities that have implemented concerted, strategic approaches to suicide prevention. The ten pillars in this designation reflect the core elements of suicide prevention strategies around the world. The designation celebrates and acknowledges those communities who have made significant progress in reaching their suicide-safer goals, and helps others understand what strategic steps they can take to prevent suicide on a community level.

LivingWorks Education has been honoring community-based development in suicide prevention programs for over 30 years by offering suicide awareness and intervention programs to help local people work together to create and sustain suicide-safer communities.

LivingWorks recognizes that it is critically important for communities to establish, implement, and sustain their own suicide-safer action plans defined by their unique character and needs, while incorporating key elements of their national, regional and/or local strategies and/or the World Health Organization Public Health Action for the Prevention of Suicide—A FrameworkCommunities around the world have demonstrated leadership and commitment to tackle this critical community health issue. Many individuals, organizations, and communities are collaborating around activities to prevent suicide and ensure that those who are bereaved by suicide and have lived experience with suicide are an inclusive part of working together and have support that is both compassionate and informed. LivingWorks Education would like to recognize the commitment, innovations and accomplishments of these actions as aggregate and collaborative undertakings by a community to create, implement, and sustain a recognized suicide-safer community and offer our support and encouragement to communities that wish to do the same.

In acquiring an official “Suicide-Safer Community” designation, communities will be recognized for their efforts as leaders in formulating and implementing suicide prevention initiatives on a sustainable and ongoing basis over time. Those that seek and prepare for designation engage in an opportunity to identify their community strengths and opportunities for improvement in the area of suicide prevention.

Suicide-Safer Communities are passionate in their belief that suicide is preventable and that suicide prevention is a shared responsibility where every person from policy makers to individual community members has the potential to make a difference and save a life. It is a community that believes that everyone has a fundamental right to a life lived with dignity with the supports and resources accessible to ensure a future filled with hope and possibility.

The designation of “Suicide-Safer Community” is a prestigious honor awarded to a community where multi-sectoral entities, in agreement that suicide is a serious community health problem, are engaged with individuals, organizations and stakeholders collaboratively to strategize, create, implement, and sustain efforts around 10 pillars of action. 

  1. Leadership/Steering Committee 
  2. Community Needs Assessment and Action Plan
  3. Mental Health and Wellness Promotion 
  4. Suicide Prevention Awareness
  5. Training 
  6. Suicide Intervention
  7. Clinical and Support Services
  8. Suicide Bereavement 
  9. Evaluation and Dissemination
  10. Capacity Building and Sustainability 

In order for a community to be designated a Suicide-Safer Community it must submit thorough documentation of all 10 pillars. The Suicide-Safer Community Initiative Review Committee is comprised of leaders from the national and/or geographical area and LivingWorks Education.

The designation is good for 5 years, after which time an application for renewal providing updates on continued progress toward each of the 10 pillars can be submitted.

Why become a Suicide-Safer Community?

Suicide-safer communities acknowledge their responsibility to ensure that in times of suicide/emotional distress its citizens have access to life-affirming supports and resources to be safe from suicide and turn toward living. Building a suicide-safer community includes developing action plans around the 10 Suicide-Safer Community Pillars incorporating suicide awareness, prevention, intervention, post-intervention, and postvention. In addition, suicide-safer communities build capacity to address these 10 pillars in a collaborative, thoughtful, practical, and sustainable way that includes helping practitioners, researchers, community-based services, the bereaved and those with lived experience. In planning a Suicide-Safer Community, people recognize that safety from suicide rests on our ability to ask and talk about suicide openly, that conversations about suicide are encouraged and will be met with compassionate, non-judgmental and informed responses.  

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Suicide-Safer Community Designation is a public affirmation of, and testament to include community-wide safety from suicide as a priority contribution in creating a safer, healthier and hope-filled life for its citizens.

Who can apply?

Any community where multi-sectoral entities, in agreement that suicide is a serious community health problem, are engaged with individuals, organizations and stakeholders collaboratively to strategize, create, implement, and sustain efforts around the 10 pillars of action. If interested in applying for designation, submit your Letter of Intent online.

To apply to be recognized as a Suicide-Safer Community, first complete the electronic Letter of Intent. Once you have heard back from us, you can proceed with the full application.

To learn more about the origins of the Suicide-Safer Communities initiative, visit the History page.

Please visit our resources page to learn more about strategic approaches to suicide safety in communities.

Additional Reading