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In an immediate, life-threatening situation, call 911.

Emergency help is available through Alexandria City, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County and Prince William County
Community Services Boards.

If you or someone you care about may be at risk of suicide, don't hesitate to reach out for help right away.  
These resources are available 24/7:
Text "CONNECT" to 855-11 to contact PRS CrisisLink.
Call PRS CrisisLink at 703-527-4077
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Veteran's Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1

COVID-19: Loudoun County's Response

During this time of community need, residents, businesses and government are pulling together to respond.

Here are suggestions for what you can do to help your neighbors, as well as what the county is doing in response to the crisis.


Alexandria City Coping with COVID-19 Fear and Uncertainty

Fear and anxiety about COVID-19 can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Taking care of yourself, your friends and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger.


Fairfax County Coronavirus Updates

We understand there are a lot of strong feelings about the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and what it means for our health, as well as the well-being of our families and friends.


Arlington County COVID-19 Updates and Information

Learn what you can do to help yourself and family. Learn what you can do to help others.


Prince William County COVID-19 information

Stressed About COVID19? Here’s What Can Help

SPAN - the Suicide Prevention Alliance of Northern Virginia - is a regional coalition of the Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax-Falls Church, Loudoun, and
Prince William Community Services Boards (CSBs) and other groups in Northern Virginia, all working together to raise awareness and share resources to prevent suicide.

Sign up for updates! Get news from the Suicide Prevention Alliance of Northern Virginia (SPAN) in your inbox.  Click here to sign up.

Full Prevention Plan

Strategic Direction 1: Healthy and Empowered Individuals, Families, and Communities

Goal 1. Integrate and coordinate suicide prevention activities across multiple sectors and settings.

  • Strategy 1.1. Create an ongoing team or organization to coordinate suicide prevention efforts and manage and support implementation of the plan.

Goal 2. Implement research-informed communication efforts designed to prevent suicide by changing knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors.

  • Strategy 2.1. Implement public education campaigns as a part of a coordinated and multi-faceted strategy designed to achieve one or more of the following outcomes:
    • improve suicide risk recognition;
    • increase awareness of resources available for individuals who need help;
    • increase help-seeking behavior; and
    • reduce stigma of mental illness.
    Include social media and a web presence in the communications plan.
  • Strategy 2.2. Implement messaging that focuses on ways to enhance protective factors and assets that increase resilience.
  • Strategy 2.3. Promote the messages of suicide attempt survivors and individuals living with and recovered from mental illness.

Goal 3. Increase knowledge of the factors that offer protection from suicidal behaviors and that promote wellness and recovery.

  • Strategy 3.1. Educate providers on strategies grounded in evidence and sound theory, as well as on strategies that have been proven ineffective and/or harmful.
  • Strategy 3.2. Incorporate elements of resilience development and mental health into school curricula.
  • Strategy 3.3. Promote speakers bureaus of individuals and organizations competent to speak on resilience and suicide prevention.

Goal 4. Promote responsible media reporting of suicide, accurate portrayals of suicide and mental illnesses in the entertainment industry, and the safety of online content related to suicide.

  • Strategy 4.1. Promote responsible media coverage of suicides.
  • Strategy 4.2. Promote responsible entertainment industry portrayals of mental illness and suicide.
Strategic Direction 2: Clinical and Community Preventive Services

Goal 5. Develop, implement, and monitor effective programs that promote wellness and prevent suicide and related behaviors.

  • Strategy 5.1. Incorporate strategies for building resilience into existing programming.
  • Strategy 5.2. Implement teen gatekeeper training and other peer help/support programs (for any age).
  • Strategy 5.3. Implement programs, policies, and systems – in multiple sectors – that focus on the following outcomes and issues:
    • Increased resilience and coping skills
    • Increased stress reduction and management
    • Improved physical health and wellness
    • Reduced bullying
    • Improved classroom management and provider response
    • Decreased alcohol and other drug use
    • Increased individual and community connections (decreased isolation)

Goal 6. Promote efforts to reduce access to lethal means of suicide among individuals with identified suicide risk.

  • Strategy 6.1. Train providers in assessing and addressing access to lethal means for at-risk individuals.
  • Strategy 6.2. Work with firearms sellers and safety training providers to address safety issues and suicide prevention.
  • Strategy 6.3. Reduce access to suicide “hotspots” (locations that provide a direct means for suicide or seclusion that prevents intervention).

Goal 7. Provide training to community and clinical service providers on the prevention of suicide and related behaviors.

  • Strategy 7.1. Train gatekeepers to recognize when others may be at risk of suicide and to assist them in seeking help.
  • Strategy 7.2. Train clinical and non-clinical providers on the impacts of trauma and how to support individuals in recovery from trauma.
  • Strategy 7.3. Implement strategies to prevent and mitigate problems due to concussion and other brain injury.
Strategic Direction 3: Treatment and Support Services

Goal 8. Promote suicide prevention as a core component of health care services.

  • Strategy 8.1. Train general practitioners to screen for depression and risk of suicide.

Goal 9. Promote and implement effective clinical and professional practices for assessing and treating those identified as being at risk for suicidal behaviors.

  • Strategy 9.1. Implement the use of evidence-based therapies and other treatments for people at risk of suicide.
  • Strategy 9.2. Use evidence-based and best practices when implementing screenings in community settings (e.g., schools, workplaces).
  • Strategy 9.3. Implement best practices for interventions with people who have survived suicide attempts.

Goal 10. Improve access to behavioral health care.

  • Strategy 10.1. Develop and promote common screening and referral methods for use in primary care, entry and referral, and social services settings.
  • Strategy 10.2. Promote public awareness of access points for obtaining help.
  • Strategy 10.3. Implement effective use of and access to crisis intervention and connecting individuals to help.
  • Strategy 10.4. Improve linkages from inpatient psychiatric to outpatient care and community services.
  • Strategy 10.5. Increase access to behavioral health care services through increasing the number of providers, reducing financial barriers to access, and other methods.
  • Strategy 10.6. Implement services that help individuals and families navigate the behavioral health system.
  • Strategy 10.7. Implement supportive services in non-clinical settings to complement treatment goals for individuals at risk of suicide.

Goal 11. Provide care and support to individuals affected by suicide deaths and attempts to promote healing and implement community strategies to help prevent further suicides.

  • Strategy 11.1. Provide outreach at the scene of a suicide to encourage self-help for familial survivors.
  • Strategy 11.2. Implement standardized postvention in schools and best practices for postvention in workplaces and communities.
  • Strategy 11.3. Provide support groups and other ongoing forms of support for survivors of suicide attempts and for familial survivors of suicide.
Strategic Direction 4: Data, Research, and Evaluation

Goal 12. Increase the timeliness and usefulness of relevant surveys and other data sources relevant to suicide prevention and improve the ability to collect, analyze and use information for action.

  • Strategy 12.1. Regularly collect and analyze local data to identify risk and protective factors most associated with suicidal ideation.
  • Strategy 12.2. Incorporate items related to key risk and protective factors for suicide into local survey tools.
  • Strategy 12.3. Develop and implement a Youth Suicide Review Team to identify systemic improvements for suicide prevention.
  • Strategy 12.4. Analyze public safety and other data to identify suicide “hot spots” and recommend strategies to limit access to those locations.

Goal 13. Evaluate the impact and effectiveness of suicide prevention interventions and systems and synthesize and disseminate findings.

  • Strategy 13.1. Develop standard process and outcome measures by which to evaluate suicide prevention programs, activities, and initiatives.

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