Module 1 > Catastrophic events and suicide

A catastrophic event doesn’t automatically mean that suicide rates will increase, and it’s important to examine local data as it is made available. Research from some catastrophic events has shown the need to consider suicide prevention during these times of crisis:



Data released in August 2020 on COVID-19 and mental health and substance use—both suicide risk factors—also shows the need for suicide prevention (see image below). In addition to examining existing data, gathering ideas from community members who have been impacted by suicide attempt or loss can help build off existing strengths in a community and rapidly respond to needs.


During late June, 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance use

Image credit: Czeisler MÉ , Lane RI, Petrosky E, et al. Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, June 24–30, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:1049–1057. DOI: icon

Read: In the blog post Suicide prevention and the COVID-19 pandemic, Kristen Quinlan, PhD, and Kerri Nickerson, LCSW, MPH, co-chairs of the APHA Intersectional Council Topic Committee on Suicide Prevention, discuss early lessons on suicide prevention and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Next Lessons In This Section


Continue to the next lessons of the "Catastrophic Events and Suicide" section of Module 1 to dig deeper into the need for suicide prevention efforts in the context of catastrophic events:

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Photo credit: CC USFWSSoutheast