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Advocacy group
ad·vo·ca·cy group
Organizations that work in a variety of ways to foster change with respect to a societal issue.
Conflicting feelings or thoughts- uncertainty or indecisiveness as to what course to follow.
Someone who is ambivalent may have conflicting wishes both to live and to die. Ambivalence is a common reaction to complex situations or circumstances, but ambivalence can lead to unhealthy determinations as one continually entertains suicidal thoughts. Offhanded mentions of suicide, killing oneself, or considering death should be taken very seriously, not necessarily because they indicate that someone is serious yet, but because these ideations are the first steps toward acting on them.

If you feel unsure of how to recognize dangerous suicidal behaviors, here are some signs to look for:

If you want to know more or need assistance, Click here for some resources to help.

A state of uneasiness and apprehension, about future uncertainties.
Someone who is anxious may be grappling with feelings of apprehension, powerlessness, or danger. We're all familiar with the short-term effects" sweaty palms, rapid breathing, or difficulty thinking clearly. However, over time chronic continued anxiety can lead to symptoms more commonly associated with depression, such as loss of energy, fatigue, and feelings of powerlessness. The vast majority of those to take their own lives are diagnosed with a mental illness. If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety, click here for resources to help.

Anxiety disorder
anx·i·e·ty dis·or·der
An unpleasant feeling of fear or apprehension accompanied by increased physiological arousal, defined according to clinically derived standard psychiatric diagnostic criteria.
Best practice
best prac·tice
An activity or program in keeping with the best available evidence regarding what is effective.
Global term encompassing both the feelings of grief and the process of mourning in reaction a death.
Biopsychological approach
bi·o·psy·cho·log·i·cal ap·proach
An approach to suicide prevention that focuses on those biological, psychological and social factors that may be causes, correlates, and/or consequences of mental health or mental illness and that may affect suicidal behavior.
Bipolar disorder
bi·po·lar dis·or·der
A mood disorder characterized by the presence or history of manic episodes, usually, but not necessarily, alternating with depressive episodes.
An adjective that refers to individuals whose sexual orientation or identity involves sexual, physical, and/or romantic attraction to both men and women.
Casual Factor
caus·al fac·tor
A condition that alone is sufficient to produce a disorder.
Chat Service
chat serv·ice
Crisis counseling provided via instant messaging.
The general ability to organize, process, and recall information.
A group of individuals who share similar interests or living space.
Community Referral 
com·mu·ni·ty re·fer·ral
A recommendation to obtain additional services to be provided by hospitals, mental health agencies, organizations, consultants, and/or mental health professionals in the local area.
Complicated Grief
com·pli·cat·ed grief
Feelings of loss, following the death of a loved one, which are debilitating and do not improve even after time passes. These painful emotions are so long lasting and severe that those who are affected have trouble accepting the loss and moving on with their lives. Also referred to -traumatic grief - or -prolonged grief.-
Comprehensive Suicide Prevention Plans
com·pre·hen·sive su·i·cide pre·ven·tion plans
Plans that use a multi-faceted approach to addressing the problem- for example, including interventions targeting biopsychosocial, social and environmental factors.
The spreading of suicidal ideologies through media, friendships, community, etc.
Behavioral contagion is a tendency for the behavior of one or more people to be copied by others rapidly and compulsively. With little analysis or forethought, more people respond to this stimulus and quickly adopt it in succession. More of a powerful social influence, it usually explains how moods and behaviors are adopted by crowds.

Conduct Disorder
con·duct dis·or·der
A repetitive and persistent behavior pattern during which the basic rights of others or major age-appropriate norms or rules are ignored and often violated. A diagnosis of conduct disorder is likely if the behaviors continue for a period of 6 months or longer.
The principle in medical ethics that the information a patient or client reveals to a health care provider is private and has limits on how and when it can be disclosed to a third party.
Closeness to an individual, group or people within a specific organization- perceived caring by others- satisfaction with relationship to others, or feeling loved and wanted by others.
Social connectedness is the measure of how people come together and interact. At an individual level, social connectedness involves the quality and number of connections one has with other people in a social circle of family, friends, and acquaintances. Going beyond these individual-level concepts, it involves relationships with beyond one's social circles and even to other communities. This connectedness, one of several components of community cohesion, provides benefits to both individuals and society.

A person who is using or has used a health service.
The co-occurrence of two or more disorders, such as depressive disorder with substance abuse disorder.
In psychiatry and psychology, comorbidity refers to the presence of more than one diagnosis occurring in an indvidual at the same time. Conditions such as depression may be coupled with anxiety or insomnia to create an intersectional mental condition. In order to properly care for an at risk individual experiencing comorbidity, health care providers must equally treat both conditions independently of one another. An individual experiencing comorbid conditions is at higher risk for self harm and suicide than those with only one condition.

Crisis Intervention
cri·sis in·ter·ven·tion
The type of response to an individual who is at moderate or high risk for suicide. Intervention includes the response and medical or psychiatric emergency services for the individual.
Crisis Team
cri·sis team
A group of individuals trained and assembled for the purpose of responding to the needs of others during and after a crisis event/situation.
The integrated pattern of human behavior that includes thoughts, communication, actions, customs, beliefs, values, and institutions of a racial, ethnic, faith or social group.
Culture is the set of ideas, behaviors, attitudes, and traditions that exist within large groups of people (usually of a common religion, family, or something similar). These ideas, behaviors, traditions, etc. are passed on from one generation to the next and are typically resistant to change over time. Cultures vary widely not only across the world, but even right next door. For example, if you live in America and then visit different areas of Europe, you may notice that people often get closer to each other physically in social settings - tables are often closer together at restaurants, people stand closer to each other when they speak, etc. These are examples of cultural differences.

Culturally Appropriate 
cul·tur·al·ly ap·pro·pri·ate
A set of values, behaviors, attitudes, and practices reflected in the work of an organization or program that enables it to be effective across cultures- includes the ability of the program to honor and respect the beliefs, language, interpersonal styles, and behaviors of individuals and families receiving services.
A constellation of emotional, cognitive and somatic signs and symptoms, including sustained sad mood or lack of pleasure.
Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn't worth living. More than just a bout of the blues, depression isn't a weakness and you can't simply "snap out" of it. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Depressive disorders come in different forms, from Seasonal Depressive Disorder to Bipolar disorder. However, within these types there are variations in the number of symptoms as well as their severity and persistence. Depression is a common but serious illness, and most people who experience it need treatment to get better. But don't get discouraged. Most people with depression feel better with medication, psychotherapy or both.

A facilitated session to provide staff intervening in a crisis with an opportunity to discuss and process crisis related events. The purpose of debriefing is to provide support, recognition, and information.
Prevention programs that have been scientifically evaluated and shown to decrease an adverse outcome or increase a beneficial one in the target group more than in a comparison group.
Persons aged 65 or more years.
Environmental Approach
en·vi·ron·men·tal ap·proach
An approach that attempts to influence either the physical environment (such as reducing access to lethal means) or the social environment (such as providing work or academic opportunities).
The study of statistics and trends in health and disease across communities.
Evidence Based
Programs that have undergone scientific evaluation and have proven to be effective.
The systematic investigation of the value and impact of an intervention or program.
Follow-back Study
fol·low-back stud·y
The collection of detailed information about a deceased individual from a person familiar with the decedent's life history or by other existing records. The information collected supplements that individual's death certificate and details his or her circumstances, the immediate antecedents of the suicide, and other important but less immediate antecedents.
The number of occurrences of a disease or injury in a given unit of time- with respect to suicide, frequency applies only to suicidal behaviors which can repeat over time.
Those individuals in a community who have face-to-face contact with large numbers of community members as part of their usual routine- they may be trained to identify persons at risk of suicide and refer them to treatment or supporting services as appropriate.
Certain individuals within a community may have the education and insight to identify members of the community who are experiencing mental illness. These community members, formally called gatekeepers, are members of the community who are routinely around the general public. The main component of these Some examples of what a gatekeeper might be: clergy, first responders, pharmacists, caregivers, and those employed in institutional settings, such as schools, prisons, and the military.

Gender Identity
gen·der i·den·ti·ty
An individual-s deeply-rooted internal sense of gender. For most individuals, the sex assigned to them at birth aligns with their gender identity. This is not true for some others, however, who identify as transgender.
A broad and high-level statement of general purpose to guide planning around an issue- it is focused on the end result of the work.

The complete state of physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
Health and Safety Officials
health and safe·ty of·fi·cials
Law enforcement officers, fire fighters, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and outreach workers in community health programs.
The action of helping someone to do something: assistance.
A healthy, optimistic attitude that is based on an expectation of positive life outcomes
Hope is defined as the perceived ability to create ways to achieve desired goals and to motivate oneself to use those means. In positive psychology, hope is used as an actual therapy in order to combat fulfillment issues.

Imminent Risk
im·mi·nent risk
A situation where a person's current risk status is believed to indicate actions that could lead to his or her suicide.
A strategy or approach that is intended to prevent an outcome or to alter the course of an existing condition.
A therapeutic intervention is an effort made by individuals or groups to improve the well-being of someone else who either is in need of help but refusing it or is otherwise unable to initiate or accept help. The intervention, which can be psychological, physical, or even pharmacological, may be led or guided by a professional interventionist or by friends or family members. In some cases, an intervention takes the form of a confrontation or meeting between a person who is engaged in self-destructive behavior and concerned friends or family members. In other cases, where individuals are not able to make decisions for themselves, an intervention is a decision to take action on their behalf. This method, although helpful, may not end up helping every person requiring care.

in·di·cat·ed pre·ven·tion in·ter·ven·tion
Intervention designed for individuals at high risk for a condition or disorder or for those who have already exhibited the condition or disorder.
Not being able to fall asleep or remain asleep for an adequate length of time.
Common causes of insomnia include stress, anxiety, depression, and medical conditions that cause chronic pain. Insomnia may cause problems during the day, such as tiredness, difficulty concentrating, and irritability. Insomnia can sap not only an individual's energy level and mood but also affect their health, work performance, and quality of life.

Injuries resulting from purposeful human action whether directed at oneself (self-directed) or others (assaultive), sometimes referred to as violent injuries.
Lethal Means Restriction
le·thal means re·stric·tion
This term is used to indicate the interruption of and/or prevention of access to deadly methods of suicide. Removing lethal means is a means restriction.
The degree of danger that a person will probably kill himself or herself is defined as lethality.
A blanket term that refers to those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
Ligature Points
li·ga·ture points
Elements in an environment that could be used to support a noose or other strangulation devices (especially, for a suicide attempt).
Mandatory Reporting
man·da·to·ry re·port·ing
People who work with children and families are required by law (Chapter 48) to make reports of suspected child abuse and neglect to the County Child Protective Services Unit.
The instrument or object whereby a self-destructive act is carried out (i.e., firearm, poison, medication).
Means Restriction
means re·stric·tion
Techniques, policies, and procedures designed to reduce access or availability to means and methods of deliberate self-harm.
Mental Disorder
men·tal dis·or·der
A diagnosable illness characterized by alterations in thinking, mood, or behavior (or some combination thereof) associated with distress that significantly interferes with an individual's cognitive, emotional or social abilities- often used interchangeably with mental illness.
Mental Health
men·tal health
The capacity of people to interact with one another and the environment in ways that promote subjective well-being, optimal development, and use of mental abilities.
Mental Health Problem
men·tal health prob·lem
Diminished cognitive, social or emotional abilities, but not to the extent that the criteria for a mental disorder are met.
Mental Health Services
men·tal health serv·ices
Health services that are specially designed for the care and treatment of people with mental health problems, including mental illness. Includes hospital and other 24-hour services, intensive community services, ambulatory or outpatient services, medical management, case management, intensive psychosocial rehabilitation services, and other intensive outreach approaches to the care of individuals with severe disorders.
Actions or techniques which result in an individual inflicting self-harm (i.e., asphyxiation, overdose, jumping).
Minority Stress
mi·nor·i·ty stress
Chronically high levels of stress faced by members of stigmatized minority groups. It may be caused by a number of factors, including poor social support and low socioeconomic status, but the most well understood causes of minority stress are interpersonal prejudice and discrimination.
Mood Disorders
mood dis·or·ders
A term used to describe all mental disorders that are characterized by a prominent or persistent mood disturbance- disturbances can be in the direction of elevated expansive emotional states, or, if in the opposite direction, depressed emotional states- included are Depressive Disorders, Bipolar Disorders, mood disorders due to a medical condition, and substance-induced mood disorders.
The relative frequency of illness or injury, or the illness or injury rate, in a community or population.
The relative frequency of death, or the death rate, in a community or population.
A specific and measurable statement that clearly identifies what is to be achieved in a plan- it narrows a goal by specifying who, what, when and where or clarifies by how much, how many, or how often.
Older Adults
old·er a·dults
Persons aged 60 or more years.
A measurable change in the health of an individual or group of people that is attributable to an intervention.
Outreach Programs
out·reach pro·grams
Programs that send staff into communities to deliver services or recruit participants.
Personality Disorders 
per·son·al·i·ty dis·or·ders
A class of mental disorders characterized by deeply ingrained, often inflexible, maladaptive patterns of relating, perceiving, and thinking of sufficient severity to cause either impairment in functioning or distress.
A strategy or approach that is implemented after a crisis or traumatic event has occurred.
A postvention is an intervention conducted after a suicide, largely taking the form of support for the bereaved (family, friends, professionals and peers). Family and friends of the suicide victim may be at increased risk of suicide themselves. Postvention is a term that was first coined by Shneidman (1972), which he used to describe "appropriate and helpful acts that come after a dire event." In Schneidman's view, "the largest public health problem is neither the prevention of suicide nor the management of suicide attempts, but the alleviation of the effects of stress in the survivors whose lives are forever altered." The aim is to support and debrief those affected" and reduce the possibility of copycat suicide. Interventions recognize that those bereaved by suicide may be vulnerable to suicidal behavior themselves and may develop complicated grief reactions.

A strategy or approach that reduces the likelihood of risk of onset or delays the onset of adverse health problems or reduces the harm resulting from conditions or behaviors.
Prevention is the act of stopping something before it can happen. In the context of mental health, prevention means to recognize key warning signs of declining mental health. Preventative measures become active when a trained eye notices the tell tale signs of a depressive or at risk individual. Preventative measures include an intervention, reassurance, and support for the at risk individual.

Prevention Network
pre·ven·tion net·work
Coalitions of change-oriented organizations and individuals working together to promote suicide prevention. Prevention networks might include statewide coalitions, community task forces, regional alliances, or professional groups.
Protective Factors
pro·tec·tive fac·tors
Factors that make it less likely that individuals will develop a disorder. Protective factors may encompass biological, psychological or social factors in the individual, family and environment.
The medical science that deals with the origin, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of mental disorders.
The science concerned with the individual behavior of humans, including mental and physiological processes related to behavior.
Public Health
pub·lic health
The science and art of promoting health, preventing disease, and prolonging life through the organized efforts of society.
Public Health Approach
pub·lic health ap·proach
The systematic approach using five basic evidence-based steps, which are applicable to any health problem that threatens substantial portions of a group or population. The five steps include defining the problem, identifying causes, developing and testing interventions, implementing interventions and evaluating interventions.
Public Information Campaigns
pub·lic in·for·ma·tion cam·paigns
Large scale efforts designed to provide facts to the general public through various media such as radio, television, advertisements, newspapers, magazines, and billboards.
The number per unit of the population with a particular characteristic, for a given unit of time.
The process of returning to the school environment following an extended period of absence is re-entry.
Residency Program
res·i·den·cy pro·gram
Postgraduate clinical training programs in special subject areas, such as medicine.
The ability to adapt and rebound from traumatic thoughts and events.
Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or even significant sources of stress. It means "bouncing back" from the mental illness that plagues one's life. Resilience allows one to combat the onslaught of negative thoughts and/or behaviors. Resilience doesn't have to be done alone, look within your community and family for emotional support.
Risk Assessment
risk as·sess·ment
The process of quantifying the probability of an individual harming himself or others.
Risk Factors
risk fac·tors
Those factors that make it more likely that individuals will develop a disorder- risk factors may encompass biological, psychological or social factors in the individual, family and environment.
Root Cause Analysis 
root cause a·nal·y·sis
Root cause analysis (RCA) is a step-by-step method that leads to the discovery of a fault-s first or root cause. RCA uses a systematic approach to identify the progression of actions and consequences that led to an undesired event. In the context of suicide prevention, an RCA investigation means tracing the cause and effect trail from a suicide attempt or death back to the root cause.
Safety Plan
safe·ty plan
Written list of warning signs, coping responses, and support sources that an individual may use to avert or manage a suicide crisis.
Administrative of an assessment tool to identify persons in need of more in-depth evaluation or treatment.
A mental health screening is done by a healthcare professional to give a complete picture of your emotional and cognitive state. Doctors will ask about mood, behavior, thinking, reasoning, and memory. The test consists of verbal, written, and often times, laboratory testing. Screenings are normally used to identify markers of mental illness early on and to find treatment for those deemed at risk.

Screening Tools
screen·ing tools
Instruments and techniques (questionnaires, check lists, self-assessment forms) used to evaluate individuals for increased risk of certain health problems.
The various methods by which individuals injure themselves, such as self-cutting, self-battering, taking overdoses or exhibiting deliberate recklessness.
Sexual Orientation
sex·u·al o·ri·en·ta·tion
An individual-s sexual, physical, and/or romantic attraction to men, women, both, or neither.
Selective Intervention
se·lec·tive in·ter·ven·tion
Intervention targeted to subgroups of the population whose risk of developing a health problem is significantly higher than average.
Social Services 
so·cial serv·ices
Organized efforts to advance human welfare, such as home-delivered meal programs, support groups, and community recreation projects.
Social Support
so·cial sup·port
Assistance that may include companionship, emotional backing, cognitive guidance, material aid and special services.
Sociocultural Approach
so·ci·o·cul·tur·al ap·proach
An approach to suicide prevention that attempts to affect the society at large, or particular subcultures within it, to reduce the likelihood of suicide (such as adult-youth mentoring programs designed to improve the well-being of youth).
Specialty Treatment Centers
spe·cial·ty treat·ment cen·ters
Health facilities where the personnel and resources focus on specific aspects of psychological or behavioral well-being.
Entities, including organizations, groups and individuals, which are affected by and contribute to decisions, consultations and policies.
Most if not every individual has a stakeholder for their personal well being. A stakeholder is an emotional, fiscal, or physical attachment to another person which results in an investment into the individuals well being.

An object, idea, or label associated with disgrace or reproach.
The quality or state of being strong, in particular.
Substance Abuse
sub·stance a·buse
A maladaptive pattern of substance use manifested by recurrent and significant adverse consequences related to repeated use. This includes maladaptive use of legal substances and illicit drugs.
A term that encompasses suicidal thoughts, ideation, plans, suicide attempts, and completed suicide.
The ongoing, systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of health data with timely dissemination of findings.
Death from injury, poisoning, or suffocation where there is evidence that a self-inflicted act led to the person's death.
Suicide Attempt 
su·i·cide at·tempt
Any fatal or non-fatal intentional self-inflicted injury.
Suicide Attempt Survivors 
su·i·cide at·tempt sur·vi·vors
Individuals who have survived a prior suicide attempt.
Suicide Clusters
su·i·cide clus·ters
A series of consecutive suicides in the same geographic area, among a demographically similar group of individuals is termed a suicide cluster.
Suicide Crisis 
su·i·cide cri·sis
A suicide crisis, suicidal crisis, or potential suicide, is a situation in which a person is attempting to kill him or herself or is seriously contemplating or planning to do so. It is considered a medical emergency, requiring immediate suicide intervention and emergency medical treatment.
Suicide Pact
su·i·cide pact
An agreement to complete suicide by two or more individuals.
Suicide Survivors 
su·i·cide sur·vi·vors
Family members, significant others, or acquaintances who have experienced the loss of a loved one due to suicide. Sometimes this term is also used to mean suicide attempt survivors.
Suicide Threat
su·i·cide threat
A verbal statement indicating that suicide is being considered.
Suicide Warning Signs 
su·i·cide warn·ing signs
Indications that an individual is at risk for suicide.
Suicidal Act
su·i·cid·al act
A potentially self-injurious behavior with a nonfatal outcome, for which there is evidence that the person intended to kill himself or herself. A suicide attempt may or may not result in injuries.
Suicidal Behavior
su·i·cid·al be·hav·ior
A spectrum of activities related to thoughts and behaviors that include suicidal thinking, suicide attempts, and completed suicide.
Suicide Ideation 
su·i·cid·al i·de·a·tion
Self-reported thoughts of engaging in suicide-related behavior.

Great physical or mental suffering or anxiety.
Someone whose gender identity or expression is different from the sex that was assigned to them at birth. Some transgender individuals take steps to physically and/or legally transition from one sex to another.
A serious injury or shock to the body from violence or an accident- an emotional wound or shock that creates substantial, lasting damage to the psychological development of a person- an event or situation that causes great distress and disruption.
Term used for an injury that is unplanned- in many settings these are termed accidental injuries.
Universal Preventive Intervention
u·ni·ver·sal pre·ven·tive in·ter·ven·tion
Intervention targeted to a defined population, regardless of risk- (this could be an entire school, for example, and not the general population per se).
Utilization Management Guidelines
u·ti·li·za·tion man·age·ment guide·lines
Policies and procedures that are designed to ensure efficient and effective delivery (utilization) of services in an organization.