Suicide prevention is an important public health strategy. There are a number of factors that put people at higher or lower risk for suicide, many of which are related to the concept of connectedness.
Connectedness is the degree to which a person or group is socially close, interrelated or shares resources with other persons or groups. Connectedness can lead to increased social contact, sense of belonging, sense of self-worth and access to sources of support. As a result, in times of stress, connected individuals have greater motivation and ability to cope adaptively in the face of adversity. Connectedness occurs within and between multiple levels of the social ecology, that is between individuals, families, schools and other organizations, neighborhoods, cultural groups, and society as a whole. For more information on the research behind connectedness as a protective factor for suicide prevention, check out the links to CDC info and other related articles below.
- Promoting Connectedness to Prevent Suicide (A Webinar/Presentation from the CDC) - Evaluations of interventions directed toward preventing suicidal behavior have shown that promoting connectedness is a promising suicide prevention strategy. Connectedness to others, including family members, teachers, coworkers, community organizations, and social institutions, is an important protective factor. Positive relationships can help increase a person’s sense of belonging, foster a sense of personal worth, and provide access to sources of support. During this webinar, participants will learn why and how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made connectedness promotion a central focus of its suicide prevention efforts. In addition, presenters will describe programs that have promoted connectedness within specific populations including: older adults, American Indians and Alaska Natives, and African American youth.
- Promoting Individual, Family, and Community Connectedness to Prevent Suicidal Behavior - This document describes a 5 year vision for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) work to prevent fatal and non-fatal suicidal behavior. The strategic direction they propose is to prevent suicidal behavior by building and strengthening connectedness or social bonds within and among persons, families and communities.
- Preventing Suicide Through Connectedness (A PDF document from the CDC)
- Connectedness and Suicide Prevention in Adolescents (Article from the American Association of Suicidology) - Adolescent suicide is a major public health concern. Stressing the need for public health–based solutions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified “connectedness” as one means of pursuing this agenda.
- Building and Strengthening Connectedness to Prevent Suicides among Veterans (Huffington Post Article)