Module 1: Making the case: Why do we need to consider suicide prevention during catastrophic events?


A catastrophic event is a disaster, like the COVID-19 pandemic or a hurricane, that can have monumental impacts across a population and the infrastructure of communities. This module dives into the impact of these disruptions on communities and why suicide prevention is important both in this context and in long-term recovery. We recommend reviewing the module with partners and completing activities as a group.

Learning outcomes

  • Identify the impact of catastrophic events on communities, including impacts on critical infrastructure and how this affects a community’s ability to flourish emotionally.

  • Place the impact of catastrophic events in historical and cultural contexts.

  • Recognize the connections between catastrophic events and suicide.

  • Explain the importance of suicide prevention in the midst of catastrophic events and as part of long-term recovery.

Download the full activity packet for Module 1


What is your relationship to suicide prevention?

Check the boxes that correspond with your relationship and/or your sector, agency, or department’s relationship to suicide or preventing suicide in your city or community.

Module sections:

Infrastructure disruptions

What are infrastructure disruptions and how do they affect communities?

Catastrophic events and suicide

Why do we need to consider suicide prevention in this context?

The need for systems change

Why do we need to pursue systems change to prevent suicide?

Begin Module 1




If you are thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States. Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (Español: 1-888-628-9454; deaf and hard of hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, or visit Talk to Someone Now. You can access resources designed by and for people of color here.

This module was created by Prevention Institute (PI) and Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) to support communities in operationalizing suicide prevention activities. PI and CLASP thank all those who reviewed and provided feedback to improve the modules.