Best practices – activities or programs that are in keeping with the best available evidence regarding what is effective

Bipolar disorder – a mood disorder characterized by the presence or history of manic episodes, usually, but not necessarily, alternating with depressive episodes

Comorbidity – the co-occurrence of two or more disorders, such as depressive disorder with substance abuse disorder

Consumer – a person using or having used a health service

Contagion – a phenomenon whereby susceptible persons are influenced towards suicidal behavior through knowledge of another person’s suicidal acts

Culturally appropriate – the ability of an organization or program to be effective across cultures, including the ability to honor and respect the beliefs, language, interpersonal styles, and behaviors of individuals and families receiving services

Depression – a constellation of emotional, cognitive and somatic signs and symptoms, including sustained sad mood or lack of pleasure

Effective – prevention programs that have been scientifically evaluated and shown to decrease an adverse outcome or increase a beneficial outcome in the target group more than in a comparison group

Environmental approach – an approach that attempts to influence either the physical environment (such as reducing access to lethal means) or the social environment (such as providing work or academic opportunities)

Epidemiology – the study of statistics and trends in health and disease across communities

Evaluation – the systematic investigation of the value and impact of an intervention or program

Evidence-based – programs that have undergone scientific evaluation and have proven to be effective

Frequency – the number of occurrences of a disease or injury in a given unit of time; with respect to suicide, frequency applies only to suicidal behaviors which can repeat over time

Gatekeepers (suicide gatekeepers) – individuals trained to identify persons at risk of suicide and refer them to treatment or supporting services as appropriate

Goal – a broad statement of general purpose to guide planning, focused on the end result of the work

Indicated prevention intervention – intervention designed for individuals at high risk for a condition or disorder or for those who have already exhibited the condition or disorder

Intervention – a strategy or approach that is intended to prevent an outcome or to alter the course of an existing condition (such as strengthening social support in a community)

Means – the instrument or object whereby a self-destructive act is carried out (i.e., firearm, poison, medication)

Means restriction – activities designed to reduce access or availability to means and methods of deliberate self-harm

Methods – actions or techniques which result in an individual inflicting self-harm (i.e., asphyxiation, overdose, jumping)

Mood disorders – mental disorders that are characterized by a prominent or persistent mood disturbance; disturbances can be in the direction of elevated expansive emotional states, or, if in the opposite direction, depressed emotional states. Included are Depressive Disorders, Bipolar Disorders, mood disorders due to a medical condition, and substance-induced mood disorders

Objective – a specific and measurable statement that clearly identifies what is to be achieved in a plan; it narrows a goal by specifying who, what, when and where or clarifies by how much, how many, or how often

Outcome – a measurable change in the health of an individual or group of people that is attributable to an intervention

Personality disorders – a class of mental disorders characterized by deeply ingrained, often inflexible, maladaptive patterns of relating, perceiving, and thinking of sufficient severity to cause either impairment in functioning or distress

Postvention – a strategy or approach that is implemented after a crisis or traumatic event has occurred

Prevention – a strategy or approach that reduces the likelihood of risk of onset, or delays the onset of adverse health problems or reduces the harm resulting from conditions or behaviors

Protective factors – factors that make it less likely that individuals will develop a disorder; protective factors may encompass biological, psychological or social factors in the individual, family and environment

Public information campaigns – efforts designed to provide facts to the general public through various media such as radio, television, advertisements, newspapers, magazines, and billboards

Rate – the number per unit of the population with a particular characteristic, for a given unit of time

Resilience – capacities within a person that promote positive outcomes, such as mental health and well-being, and provide protection from factors that might otherwise place that person at risk for adverse health outcomes

Risk factors – factors that make it more likely that individuals will develop a disorder; risk factors may encompass biological, psychological or social factors in the individual, family and environment

Screening – administration of an assessment tool to identify persons in need of more in-depth evaluation or treatment

Selective prevention intervention – intervention targeted to subgroups of the population whose risk of developing a health problem is significantly higher than average

Social support – assistance that may include companionship, emotional backing, cognitive guidance, material aid and special services

Stakeholders – entities, including organizations, groups and individuals, which are affected by and contribute to decisions, consultations and policies

Suicidal act (also referred to as suicide attempt) – potentially self-injurious behavior for which there is evidence that the person probably intended to kill himself or herself; a suicidal act may result in death, injuries, or no injuries

Suicidal behavior – a spectrum of activities related to thoughts and behaviors that include suicidal thinking, suicide attempts, and completed suicide

Suicidal ideation – thoughts of engaging in suicide-related behavior

Suicidality – a term that encompasses suicidal thoughts, ideation, plans, suicide attempts, and completed suicide

Suicide – death from injury, poisoning, or suffocation where there is evidence that a self-inflicted act led to the person’s death

Suicide attempt – a potentially self-injurious behavior with a nonfatal outcome, for which there is evidence that the person intended to kill himself or herself; a suicide attempt may or may not result in injuries

Suicide attempt survivors – individuals who have survived a prior suicide attempt

Suicide survivors – family members, significant others, or acquaintances who have experienced the loss of a loved one due to suicide; sometimes this term is also used to mean suicide attempt survivors

Surveillance – the ongoing, systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of health data with timely dissemination of findings

Universal preventive intervention – intervention targeted to a defined population, regardless of risk; (this could be an entire school, for example, and not the general population per se)

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