Suicide prevention in the United States of America

Jerry Reed and Morton M Silverman

in Oxford Textbook of Suicidology and Suicide Prevention

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198570059
Published online July 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199640461 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks

Suicide prevention in the United States of America

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In May 1993, the United Nations convened a meeting of fifteen experts from twelve countries (Australia, Canada, China, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, India, Japan, Netherlands, Nigeria, United Arab Emirates and the United States) to draft guidelines for the development of national strategies for the prevention of suicidal behaviours (Ramsay and Tanney 1996). These guidelines were subsequently published as Prevention of suicide: guidelines for the formulation and implementation of national strategies (United Nations 1996).

The UN Guidelines emphasized that the development of a national strategy required:

1 A government-initiated national policy that declares suicide prevention as a public health priority; 2 Broad involvement from different sectors and segments of society, and

3 The establishment of a coordinating body to formulate and implement the strategy (Ramsey 2001).

In 1997, following the United Nations Guidelines, advocates pressed for resolutions to be introduced in the 105th Congress of the United States to recognize suicide as a national problem, worthy of a national solution, and calling for the development of a national strategy. Both resolutions specifically urged the development of ‘an effective national strategy for the prevention of suicide’, and were critical steps in moving suicide prevention efforts in the United States forward.

Chapter.  2226 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry

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