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Pennsylvania Adult/Older Adult Suicide Prevention Coalition

AOASPC is a resource, not a hotline or counseling center

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Protective Factors

Factors that Reduce the Likelihood of Suicide

Some people have a greater risk for suicidal behavior than others. There are characteristics within an individual and within groups that create a greater potential for suicide to occur. These can include a family history of suicide or the lack of a social support network. It's important to understand the risk factors associated with suicide and to find ways to reduce them.

 

Protective factors work to counterbalance a person's risk and makes him or her less likely to engage in suicidal behavior. These factors can include easy access to support -- in other words, getting to a doctor or psychologist easily and quickly.

Protective Factors for Suicide

The following protective factors have been identified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

  • Effective clinical care for mental, physical and substance use disorders
  • Easy access to a variety of clinical interventions and support for seeking help
  • Restricted access to highly lethal means of suicide
  • Strong connections to family
  • Community support
  • Support through ongoing medical and mental health care relationships
  • Skills in problem solving, conflict resolution and nonviolent handling of disputes
  • Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide and support self preservation

Prevention programs are effective for all ages and ethnic groups. To learn more about our training services, visit our Preventing Suicide section.

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