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

Prevention approaches include:

What does this mean?What activities support this?
Universal interventionsInterventions that apply to the whole of community and usually require government and policy support.
  • Reducing access to means
  • Ensuring safe media reporting
  • Addressing social determinants of health.
Selective interventionsInterventions for groups or individuals disproportionately impacted by suicide.
  • Programs that empower and build capacity and resilience in groups who are at a higher risk of suicide.

Prevention-focused approaches in mental health are more cost-effective than intervention/treatment-focused approaches and are considered a more sustainable and comprehensive way to prevent suicide when compared to the costs and efforts required to treat individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts or distress.

Prevention First (adapted): A Framework for Suicide Prevention