1. Create supportive environments that promote healthy and empowered individuals, families, and communities (4 goals, 16 objectives);
2. Enhance clinical and community preventive services (3 goals, 12 objectives);
3. Promote the availability of timely treatment and support services (3 goals, 20 objectives); and
4. Improve suicide prevention surveillance collection, research, and evaluation (3 goals, 12 objectives).
The report recognizes the importance of spiritual issues and promotes “physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness” in addition to the recognition of spiritual distress factors. The report in its entirety can be found here. It is valuable reading, not only to learn more about the national strategy, but also to access the wealth of information and resources for various populations at risk.
Persons with suicidal intent often feel emotionally and spiritually isolated, lonely, hopeless, and in despair. As professional chaplains who are uniquely trained to recognize and respond to spiritual issues, I believe that all of us should have documented competency in suicide assessment and interventions, and that it should be required as part of all clinical training for chaplaincy students. Whatever setting we work in, the skills are necessary and will be utilized.
This special open issue of PlainViews, as Suicide Prevention Month begins, is to recognize the importance of the topic. This isn’t an issue to put in a folder with a plan to review at a later time, but rather one to read, share, and discuss with your colleagues, both chaplains and other disciplines. Find at least one way to integrate something learned from the expert articles into your chaplaincy practice and/or organizational programs and protocols.
As with past special issues, this open access issue will be made permanently available through a link on the HealthCare Chaplaincy website.