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Getting to zero suicides in Indiana seven essential elements for suicide prevention

Our goal is for Indiana to have zero suicides. The national zero suicide initiative was developed particularly for health and behavioral health care systems based on the realization that suicidal individuals often fall through the cracks in a sometimes fragmented and distracted health care system.

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The Indiana Suicide Prevention Network adapted the original seven essential elements to more comprehensively address statewide suicide prevention efforts.

In addition, careful consideration was taken to use the Suicide Prevention Resource Center's comprehensive approach to suicide prevention and its many strategies, programs and practices.

What are the seven essential elements?

Consider the seven essential elements as the overarching categories that organize goals and activities for individuals, communities, and state agencies. It is our hope that no matter the outcome we are trying to prevent (in this case, suicide) this format can be borrowed and replicated.

List of the seven essential elements:

  • Lead
  • Engage
  • Identify
  • Train
  • Treat
  • Coordinate
  • Improve

What are objectives?

Objectives are specific results that the state framework aims to achieve under each element. In general, objectives are more specific and easier to measure than goals.

All seven essential elements with their objectives

  • Lead
    • Create a leadership-driven, safety-oriented culture among state, county, and local organizational decision makers committed to dramatically reducing suicide.
      • Objectives:
        • Promote buy-in from state divisions/departments to implement the Indiana Suicide Prevention State Plan.
        • Promote sustainability of the suicide prevention efforts within the workforce, schools, organizations, communities, and families that increase protective factors and reduce the risk of suicide.
        • Infuse suicide prevention into the protocols, culture, leadership, and programs of a broad range of communities, organizations, and individuals.
  • Engage
    • Ensure every community and individual is aware of and engaged in suicide prevention efforts.
      • Objectives:
        • Increase public awareness by using messages that are positive and that promote help-seeking and effective intervention strategies.
        • Initiate efforts to build healthy and empowered individuals, families, and communities.
        • Ensure community, organizational, and individual efforts reflect best practices and available resources to address suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention/aftercare.
  • Identify
    • Systematically identify and assess suicide risk among residents of Indiana.
      • Objectives:
        • Promote identification of suicide warning signs, including those unique to marginalized groups.
        • Support the use of best practice and evidence-based suicide screening tools to identify those with suicide risk.
        • Identify societal factors related to suicide that are shared with other public health issues to facilitate collective impact.
  • Train
    • Develop a competent, confident, and caring workforce.
      • Objectives:
        • Support and promote the provision of best practice and evidence-based training for healthcare providers and allied professionals.
        • Support and promote the provision of best practice and evidence-based training in all Indiana workplaces.
        • Develop and promote the adoption of curricula and training guidelines on the prevention of suicide and related behaviors for all healthcare, social service, criminal justice, and first responder professions, including undergraduate and graduate education.
  • Treat
    • Promote and support use of standardized, effective, evidence-based treatments in all care environments.
      • Objectives:
        • Adopt, disseminate, and implement guidelines for the assessment and management of suicide risk among persons receiving care in all settings.
        • Support and promote the delivery of effective, suicide-safer clinical care.
  • Coordinate
    • Strengthen relationships between entities working towards suicide prevention to ensure the reduction of suicide risk and behavior and promote wellness.
      • Objectives:
        • Establish linkages between healthcare and substance use treatment providers, schools of all levels, community-based programs, peer-support programs that utilize lived experience, and faith-based organizations.
        • Promote the sharing of information, lived experience, and resources to improve the effectiveness of suicide prevention efforts both locally and statewide.
  • Improve
    • Apply a data-driven quality improvement approach to suicide prevention that will lead to improved outcomes, better care for those at risk, and suicide-safer communities.
      • Objectives:
        • Collect relevant suicide related data from multiple sources to help build state and community capacity, and to inform state and organizational policy.
        • Organize and disseminate the data, evidence, and research that will improve suicide prevention efforts.
        • Evaluate the impact and effectiveness of suicide prevention strategies in reducing morbidity and mortality.

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