Back to Results

Know the Protective Factors for Suicide

Protective factors buffer individuals from suicidal thoughts and behavior. These factors are characteristics that reduce the likelihood that someone will attempt suicide. To date, protective factors have not been studied as extensively or rigorously as risk factors. Identifying and understanding protective factors is, however, equally as important as researching risk factors.

Protective Factors:

  • Effective physical and behavioral healthcare for mental, physical, and substance abuse disorders
  • Easy access to a variety of behavioral health interventions and support for those seeking help
  • Family and community support (connectedness)
  • Support from ongoing medical and behavioral healthcare relationships
  • Skills in problem solving, conflict resolution, and nonviolent ways of handling disputes
  • Self-esteem and a sense of purpose or meaning in life
  • Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide and support instincts for self-preservation
  • Restrictive access to lethal means (items a person would use to complete a suicide, like a gun)

Awareness makes everything better. The more we know about suicide, the more we can help someone who is struggling or in danger. To learn more, visit: Blue KC Suicide Prevention & Awareness

Centers for Disease Control. Retrieved from: