With suicide rates rising across all demographics and regions in the U.S., suicide prevention is one of the most challenging public health issues in recent history. Because of its prevalence, the number of federal agencies and national organizations involved with suicide prevention activities is at an all-time high (Office of the Surgeon General & National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, 2012). Instituted in 2001, the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP) was revised in 2012 and serves as a guide for states in the fight against suicide through its strategies, goals, and objectives (Office of the Surgeon General & National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, 2012). Yet, suicide rates continue to rise. From 1999 to 2016, every state, except Nevada, saw a significant increase in their suicide death rates (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018a). An assessment of the 2012 NSSP revealed that states are struggling with implementation of the NSSP and not one community has fully implemented the national strategy. States need guidance with implementation and evaluation (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2017). The State Suicide Prevention Assessment (SSPA) was developed by the researcher to assist state leaders with evaluating current state suicide prevention plans (SSPP). Chief elements contained in the assessment are a compilation of best practices from leading suicide prevention entities. In an effort to contribute to suicide prevention, the goal of this study was to evaluate SSPPs by examining the relationship between SSPPs and suicide outcomes using the SSPA.

Date of publication

Fall 12-10-2018

Document Type




Persistent identifier


Committee members

Jenifer Chilton, Ph.D., Barbara Haas, Ph.D., Zhaomin He, Ph.D.


Ph.D. in Nursing

Available for download on Wednesday, December 09, 2020