On Monday, leaders in healthcare and government came together to launch the new National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin, Secretary of the Army John McHugh, and Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Scott Gould were joined by many others to share with the country the first update to the National Strategy in over a decade.
For me, the launch of a revised National Strategy is really a coming full circle. It was through learning about the original National Strategy when I was in graduate school that I began to understand a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention - rather than a “throw each starfish back into the water” approach. And, now in 2012, with suicide much more in the spotlight than it was in 2001 when the first National Strategy was released, we’re even better poised to see the impact of people who care about suicide prevention coming together to make change in our nation.
The National Strategy features 13 goals and 60 objectives that advance suicide prevention by:
What does that mean on the ground? Hopefully, that:
What am I most excited about?
The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, a public-private partnership founded with the goal of bringing changemakers in the government, non-profit, and private sectors together to work toward suicide prevention, has chosen priorities to direct its work based on the National Strategy. One of these priorities is to change the public conversation around suicide and suicide prevention.
The stories that we’ll hear about suicide and suicide prevention will be those promoting hope, connectedness, social support, resilience, treatment, and recovery.
As someone who works hard to do just that each week on this blog, I truly can’t wait.
Copyright 2012 Elana Premack Sandler, All Rights Reserved