The federal government has worked closely with other stakeholders to draw up the action plan on suicide prevention. The aim is the reduction of suicidality during stress crises or mental illnesses.
Spectra magazine on suicide prevention
The magazine "spectra" reports on the projects, programmes and strategies of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) and its partners in the fields of health promotion and disease prevention.
Here is the link for the newer English articles on suicide prevention: Suicide prevention - Spectra – Gesundheitsförderung und Prävention (spectra-online.ch)
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National action plan on suicide prevention (2016)
Switzerland adopted a national action plan on suicide prevention in November 2016. This document sets out Switzerland’s most important epidemiological benchmarks, the objectives and measures of the action plan as well as the planned implementation by the stakeholders. The document shows the state of suicide prevention in Switzerland, and is intended to promote knowledge sharing with other stakeholders.
The action plan aims to reduce the number of suicides per 100 000 inhabitants by about 25% by 2030. If this target can be reached in the long term (by 2030), about 300 deaths from suicide will be prevented in Switzerland.
Goals and measures of the action plan
The action plan on suicide prevention formulates 10 goals:
- strengthen personal and social resources
- inform about suicidality and promote awareness-raising
- offer help that is easily accessible
- early recognition of suicidal behaviours and intervention
- prompt treatment of and care for people who are at risk of suicide
- reduce the availability of suicidal means and methods
- support relatives, friends, and professionals who are affected by a suicide
- promote responsible and respectful reporting of suicides by the media
- promote research and monitoring
- disseminate best practice examples of suicide prevention
The action plan shows the state of suicide prevention in Switzerland as well as the resulting 19 key measures.
In Switzerland, many stakeholders are already active with individual measures of the suicide prevention action plan and are ready to participate in their implementation. This means that in Switzerland, investment is primarily needed for the coordination of stakeholders and measures. The federal government now operates a "Suicide Prevention" project office at the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). This supports governmental and civil law stakeholders with the implementation of the action plan via networking and coordination as well as the development of knowledge bases.
Report: Interim Evaluation of the National Suicide Prevention Action Plan (2021)
After almost five years, an interim evaluation on the status of implementation was conducted by the consulting company INFRAS on behalf of the FOPH. The report was published in 2021 and is available in German, as well as summaries in French and Italian.
The report finds that significant progress has been made in some areas resulting in a high degree of target achievement (e.g. in primary suicide prevention). However, in other areas little progress has been made and the need for action remains high. This is particularly evident for reducing the availability of suicidal means and methods (target 6), supporting the bereaved and involved professionals (target 7), and the provision of a scientific basis and data (target 10).
The FOPH has discussed the results as well as future collaboration and division of tasks with selected stakeholders. Consequently, a new core group comprised of the Conference of Cantonal Directors of Public Health (GDK), the foundation Health Promotion Switzerland (GFCH), the Mental Health Network Switzerland (NPG), and the FOPH has defined its commitment for the period of 2022-2024. The FOPH is responsible for the coordination (contact: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Last modification 15.06.2023