Logo Are You Feeling Suicidal? How to Help Someone Have You Lost Someone to Suicide? Understanding Suicide
Suicide Prevention Plan

Macomb County Suicide Prevention Plan


Suicide is a significant public health problem in Macomb County.  From the years 2000 through 2006, the Office of the Medical Examiner reported an average of 75 suicides per year.  From 2007 through 2011, the average jumped to 110 suicides per year, an increase of 47%!  These numbers are believed to only account for a portion of the actual total considering that many suicides may be recorded as accidental deaths, accidental overdoses, or single car crashes. 

Furthermore, the American Association of Suicidology estimates that at least six people are profoundly affected by each suicide and that close survivors of loved ones are at much higher risk of completing suicide themselves.  In effect, each suicide creates an immeasurable wake of collateral damage to human lives.

This plan is designed to encourage a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention through awareness, education, intervention, support, monitoring, and evaluation.  As a guide for action, this plan is intended to be fluid and evolve over time as more is learned through research and empirical experience.

Overall, the Macomb County Suicide Prevention Coalition (MCSPC) works to make a measurable difference in saving lives by bringing suicide prevention methods out of the shadows.

Basic Premises:

1. Suicide is everyone’s business.
2. Suicide is preventable.

Mission Statement:

With community collaboration and a multi-faceted approach, the Macomb County Suicide Prevention Coalition promotes efforts to reduce the incidence of suicide and suicidal behavior.

Goals & Objectives:

1. Develop broad-based support for suicide prevention across the lifespan.


1.1 Continue to cooperate with the Michigan Suicide Prevention Coalition and the implementation of the statewide Michigan Suicide Prevention Plan.


1.2 Maintain the Affiliated Collaborative status with the Macomb County Human Services Coordinating Body and take advantage of the benefits that the status offers.


1.3 Broadly promote the updated Macomb County Suicide Prevention Plan to local stakeholders (e.g., the Department of Health and Community Services, city councils, school superintendents, health care organizations, senior and youth organizations, etc.).


1.4 Increase partnerships with various organizations and agencies (e.g., senior services, faith-based groups), including public and private schools across the county.


1.5 Continue to cooperate with media sources to promote effective suicide prevention efforts




2. Heighten public awareness with a more informed understanding of mental illness and suicide while utilizing strategies to dissolve the stigma.

Utilize various media sources and public information venues to encourage help-seeking for mental health concerns (billboards, cable TV, newspaper articles, social media, health fairs, etc.).


2.2 Support existing programs and events in the county that promote awareness, prevention, and stigma reduction.


2.3 Partner with media to help them improve the reporting and portrayal of suicides, mental illness, and substance abuse.


2.4 Encourage participation and training for those who are willing to openly share their personal experiences regarding suicide and mental illness,

3. Improve recognition of and response to individuals at risk for suicide in Macomb County.

3.1 Promote awareness/educational programs across the county regarding suicide prevention. 

3.2 Develop strategies to identify and reach out to individuals in the community who are more isolated due to disability, age, language, cultural identification, or lack of employment.

3.3 Develop and promote both targeted and general suicide prevention materials.

3.4 Advocate for improved quality of treatment and easier access to services.

3.5 Identify and share best practices for hospital personnel and other first responders regarding communication with suicide attempters in a sensitive and helpful manner.

3.6 Review and update the MCSPC website to be current on suicide prevention information and efforts in our community.

4. Foster the development and implementation of suicide prevention procedures for key gatekeeper professionals.*

4.1 Identify and promote best practices for lethality assessment, suicide prevention, and intervention while allowing for appropriately tailored applications and creative improvements.

4.2 Identify and encourage training and information programs that address successful clinical practice in serving those who are depressed and/or suicidal.

4.3 Promote use of lethality assessment in youth and adult detention facilities.

4.4 Conduct an ongoing survey of current research in suicidology for information that may improve or broaden prevention efforts.


5. Encourage proactive policies, procedures, and activities that address the seeds of suicidal behavior across the lifespan.

5.1 Promote evidence-based early intervention strategies for children who have experienced significant childhood trauma or abuse/neglect issues.

5.2 Support K-12 age-appropriate programming and methodologies that address suicide risk factors (e.g., substance   abuse, bullying, legal issues, failing grades, and depression) and protective factors (e.g., self-esteem, healthy relationships, coping skills, impulse control, and social assimilation skills).

5.3 Support community education programs that address issues pertaining to the developmental and transitional phases in life, such as young adulthood, postpartum depression, mid-life crisis,             divorce, menopause, retirement, and loss/grief.


6. Promote safer environments and reduced access to lethal means.

6.1 Train primary care physicians, emergency room personnel, and other health care professional to routinely assess those at risk for the presence of lethal means (e.g., firearms, ropes, knives, substances), and provide appropriate referrals and information to the patients and their families on ways to reduce risk.

6.2 Conduct or support awareness campaigns among the general adult community regarding the risks associated with firearms in the home and the importance of safe storage.

6.3 Identify and examine community sites where suicides occur to recommend measures to improve safety and lobby for safer environments.


7. Reduce the negative impact of completed suicides on families, schools, and others in the community.

7.1 Increase public awareness of existing programs working with survivors (e.g., Survivors of Suicide and Sandcastles).

7.2 Promote the expansion of the LOSS (Local Outreach to Survivors of Suicide) program which provides immediate intervention to survivors following a loss from suicide.

7.3 Investigate, acquire, and distribute age-specific bereavement support and resource materials to funeral homes, hospitals, and churches.

7.4 Partner with schools to update and enhance suicide prevention protocols.

7.5 Identify and promote best practices that are available for law enforcement and other first responders regarding communication with suicide survivors in a sensitive and helpful manner.

7.6 Promote the use of Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) services for non-family members exposed to and/or affected by a suicide (e.g., primary responders, emergency room staff, co-workers, classmates, and friends of the deceased).

7.7 Investigate and promote methods to reduce suicide contagion, targeting areas such as schools and media.


8. Utilize data to drive suicide prevention efforts in Macomb County.

8.1 Advocate for the use of a systemic model that uses common language and reporting techniques in the collection of data pertaining to suicides, attempts, and possible suicides that were recorded as another cause of death.

8.2 Collect and review local suicide data on an annual basis to determine trends that may guide the efforts of the Coalition.

8.3 Record and measure the accomplishments, effectiveness, and cost-savings of the Coalition’s efforts while identifying service gaps and systemic issues within the community.

8.4 Collect the results of research from other sources that may be of use to the Coalition’s effort including state and national suicide data.




*Key gatekeeper professionals include, but are not limited to:


Teachers and school staff

School health personnel

Clergy and others in faith-based


Law enforcement officers

Correctional personnel

Workplace supervisors

Natural community helpers

Hospice and nursing home volunteers

Primary health care providers


Victim advocates and service providers

Social workers

Mental health consumer advocates

Community volunteers

Gun shop owners

Debt counselors

Hair stylists

Bartenders and wait staff

Mental health care and substance abuse

     treatment providers

Emergency health care personnel

Individuals and groups working with

     gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender,

     and questioning populations

Members of tribal councils and staff of

     health centers servicing Native


Persons working with isolated senior


Funeral directors










“It is a well-known public health doctrine that no mass disorder afflicting humankind has ever been eliminated or brought under control by treatment . . . Only successful efforts at primary prevention reduce the rate of distress in the future.”

                                                              George Albee, Ph.D., Pioneer in Clinical Psychology



“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

                                                                        Margaret Mead, Ph.D., Cultural Anthropologist


Tool Kit LinkSafety Plan Cards LinkNewsletter Link


800-273-TALK (8255)


Macomb County Suicide Prevention Coalition
The Macomb County Suicide Prevention Coalition (MCSPC) is incorporated as a stand-alone charitable organization governed by concerned professionals and citizens. The MCSPC is not a corporate affiliate of either Macomb County Community Mental Health or the County of Macomb.

The contents of this website were made possible by the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrating Schools and Mental Health Systems Grant. However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government