A “Building a Suicide Safer Community”  is one that has demonstrated a commitment to suicide prevention, providing compassionate care and support to those bereaved by suicide and promoting the mental health and wellness of its citizens.  Building Suicide Safer Communities are passionate in their belief that suicides are preventable and that prevention is a shared responsibility where every person has the potential to make a difference and save a life. It is a community that believes that everyone has a fundamental right to have a future filled with hope and possibility. These communities acknowledge their responsibility to ensure that in times of emotional distress its citizens have a right to the necessary supports and resources .  Building Suicide Safer communities have developed action plans for suicide prevention, intervention, supporting those bereaved by suicide and building their capacity to address suicide prevention in a thoughtful and practical way.  In a Building Suicide Safer Community people recognize that suicide prevention rests on our ability to ask and talk about suicide, that conversations about suicide are encouraged and will be met with compassionate, non judging and informed responses.

A designated “Building Suicide Safer Community” views its designation as a public affirmation of, and testament to create a safer, healthier and hope filled life for its citizens.

A “Building Suicide Safer Community”  is one in which people, organizations and stakeholders have come together to;

  • Prevent suicides
  • Promote public education and awareness
  • Provide support to people bereaved  by suicide and promote healing and recovery
  • Promote the mental health and well being of all its citizens

Pillars for Building a Suicide Safe Community


A leadership Committee comprised of community organizations and individuals exists to assume a leadership position focused on suicide prevention, intervention and postvention.

Action Plan

An action plan based on systemic processes and evidence based methods for promoting suicide prevention and building capacity has been developed.  Events are organized in support of World Suicide Prevention Day every September 10th.

Gatekeeper Training

Investments have been made in training community gatekeepers.  There is evidence that an appropriate number of suicide prevention gatekeepers have been trained in relationship to the population size or a plans for gatekeeper training has been included in the community suicide prevention action plan.

Suicide Bereavement

Resources and supports are in place and available to support people bereaved by a suicide death

Mental Health Promotion

A thoughtful and comprehensive plan to inform the community about mental health and wellness has been established

Designation Criteria

The candidate community must create a formal Suicide Safer Community Leadership Committee/Network comprised of community organizations and stake holders already active in the areas of suicide prevention, intervention and postvention.

The Suicide Safer Community Leadership Committee must adopt formal Terms of Reference, appoint committee co chairs or the equivalent.

The Suicide Safer Community Leadership Committee must develop a comprehensive action plan and establish yearly priorities.

The Suicide Safer Community Leadership Committee will commit to play a meaningful role in promoting suicide prevention and the well being of its citizens.

The suicide Safer Community Leadership Committee will demonstrate that it has trained an adequate number of gatekeepers in relation to the size of its community.  It is recommended that that are two trained gatekeepers per 10,000 residents.  A community should be able to demonstrate that a plan is in place to deliver  gatekeeper trainings in their community.