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Department of Mental Health Launches State’s Inaugural Strategic Plan for Suicide Prevention 

Submitted by Jessica.Whitak… on
Press Release


For Immediate Release: July 1st, 2024 

Media Contact:  
Alex Frantz, Communications Director 
Vermont Department of Mental Health 

Department of Mental Health Launches State’s Inaugural Strategic Plan for Suicide Prevention 


Waterbury, VT – The Vermont Department of Mental Health (DMH) is proud to unveil the State Strategic Plan for Suicide Prevention. Developed in collaboration with the Vermont Department of Health and other state and community partners, the plan offers a comprehensive guide for suicide prevention efforts statewide. The plan includes actionable strategies and objectives, including actions that all Vermonters can take to contribute to suicide prevention. 


The Plan outlines four strategic directions: 1) bolstering community-based prevention efforts, 2) advancing treatment and crisis services, 3) enhancing data quality and research initiatives, and 4) advocating for health equity. It was developed with input from representatives across diverse sectors and communities including youth and individuals with lived experience who have been personally affected by suicide. This effort was guided by the Suicide Prevention Steering Committee and the Strategic Plan Advisory Group. 


"The State Strategic Plan for Suicide Prevention not only outlines our path forward but gives each of us the tools to find our role in suicide prevention efforts," stated DMH Commissioner Emily Hawes. "Our goal is to build strong communities where every Vermonter understands that they can play a part in this important work.” 


Suicide is a pressing concern in Vermont, impacting individuals, families, schools, and communities. In 2023 alone, 123 Vermonters died by suicide, translating to a rate of 19.0 deaths per 100,000 residents. Over the past decade, the state has experienced fluctuations in its suicide rate, consistently exceeding the national average over the past 15 years. Currently, suicide ranks as the 9th leading cause of death statewide and stands as the second leading cause among Vermonters aged 44 and younger. 


Suicide is a public health issue that requires our collective and immediate attention,” said Dr. Mark Levine, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Health. “The Strategic Plan for Suicide Prevention emphasizes our commitment to addressing this serious problem through evidence-based strategies and collaborative efforts.” 


For further information on the State Strategic Plan for Suicide Prevention and ways to get involved, visit: Link plan here 


Suicide is preventable, and help is available. If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, you can call or text 988 to reach the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, to be connected with a trained crisis counselor. To get help, give help, and join Vermont's suicide prevention efforts, visit 





About the Department of Mental Health 

Vermont Department of Mental Health (DMH) has a critical mission to improve the conditions and well-being of all Vermonters across the state and protect those who cannot protect themselves. 



About the Department of Health 

We have been the state's public health agency for more than 130 years, working every day to protect and promote the health of Vermonters. 

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