Suicide is a public health issue that requires coordinated and combined efforts from all levels of government, health care systems, front-line health and community workers, workplaces, schools and other education settings, community groups, as well as individual, families and communities.

Suicide prevention should prioritise cost-effective and evidence-based approaches that focus on a broad spectrum of interventions targeted at populations and individuals. It should also look outside health and other service systems and think broadly about tackling the factors that may increase or decrease risk in individuals and communities.

In Australia, a multi-level, cross-sector, whole-of-community approach that adopts a range of prevention, intervention, postvention and promotion measures is used to support the prevention of suicide. These approaches are set out in Everymind’s Prevention First (adapted) Framework.

This section explores the types of prevention approaches that form the basis of Australia’s approach to suicide prevention.

In this section

Promotion of wellbeing

Wellbeing is influenced by a number of individual, social, demographic, environmental, and biological factors. Public health approaches to suicide prevention focus on promoting and maintaining the wellbeing of individuals and communities.


A primary prevention approach focuses on preventing the onset of suicidal behaviour through enhancing protective factors and reducing risk factors for suicide.


Intervention-focused approaches are an essential aspect of suicide prevention, often referred to as secondary prevention, or ‘downstream’ approaches.


Postvention refers to activities or interventions occurring after a death by suicide, to support those bereaved or affected (family, friends, professionals, peers, responders, community) to cope with stressors and manage the experience of loss and grief.