Protective Factors

The following are protective factors associated (by empiral study) with a decreased occurrence of suicidal behavior.  However this list is not considered to be prioritized nor exhaustive.


  • Cultural and religious beliefs thatdiscourage suicide and support self preservation
  • Support through ongoing health and mental health care relationships
  • Coping/problem solving skills
  • Resiliency, self esteem, direction, mission, determination, perseverance, optimism, empathy
  • Intellectual competence (youth)
  • Reasons for living


  • Family cohesion (youth)
  • Sense of social support
  • Interconnectedness
  • Married/Parent
  • Access to comprehensive health care


  • Access to healthcare and mental health car
  • Social support, close relationships, caring adults, participation and bond with school
  • Respect for help-seeking behavior
  • Skills to recognize and respond to signs of risk


  • Urban/Suburban
  • Access to health care & mental health care
  • Cultural values affirming life
  • Media influence

Source: Suicide Prevention Resource Center, Strategic Planning for Suicide Prevention: Core Community Competencies Workshop, Resource Sheet 1-1.

Download a copy of Suicide Risk and Protective Factors