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The Surgeon General's call to action to prevent suicide, 1999
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  • Description:
    This Surgeon General's Call To Action introduces a blueprint for addressing suicide--Awareness, Intervention, and Methodology, or AIM--n approach derived from the collaborative deliberations of the conference participants. As a framework for suicide prevention, AIM includes 15 key recommendations that were refined from consensus and evidence-based findings presented at the Reno conference. Recognizing that mental and substance abuse disorders confer the greatest risk for suicidal behavior, these recommendations suggest an important approach to preventing suicide and injuries from suicidal behavior by addressing the problems of undetected and undertreated mental and substance abuse disorders in conjunction with other public health approaches. These recommendations and their supporting conceptual framework are essential steps toward a comprehensive National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. Other necessary elements will include constructive public health policy, measurable overall objectives, ways to monitor and evaluate progress toward these objectives, and provision of resources for groups and agencies identified to carry out the recommendations. The nation needs to move forward with these crucial recommendations and support continued efforts to improve the scientific bases of suicide prevention.
  • Content Notes:
    In 1996, the World Health Organization (WHO), recognizing the growing problem of suicide worldwide, urged member nations to address suicide. Its document, Prevention of Suicide: Guidelines for the Formulation and Implementation of National Strategies, motivated the creation of an innovative public/private partnership to seek a national strategy for the United States. This public/private partnership included agencies in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, encompassing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Indian Health Service (IHS), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the Office of the Surgeon General, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Suicide Prevention Advocacy Network (SPAN), a public grassroots advocacy organization made up of suicide survivors (persons close to someone who completed suicide), attempters of suicide, community activists, and health and mental health clinicians. An outgrowth of this collaborative effort was a jointly sponsored national conference on suicide prevention convened in Reno, Nevada, in October 1998. Conference participants included researchers, health and mental health clinicians, policy makers, suicide survivors, and community activists and leaders. They engaged in careful analysis of what is known and unknown about suicide and its potential responsiveness to a public health model emphasizing suicide prevention. "Technical assistance and scientific consultation in the preparation of this document was provided by the CDC, NIMH, Office of the Surgeon General and SAMHSA. Support for its publication has been provided by the CDC, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Support for the National Conference on Suicide Prevention in Reno, Nevada, 1998, was provided in part by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control), the Health Resources and Services Administration, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (Center for Mental Health Services)." - acknowledgeents Includes bibliographical references (p. 17-20). U.S. Public Health Service, The Surgeon General's Call To Action To Prevent Suicide. Washington, DC: 1999.
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