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Upstream Protective Factors for Suicide 
Today's Solutions for Canby's Tomorrow

It is important to note that protective factors are not simply the absence of risk factors (Cha&Nock, 2008) nor are they simply the opposite of risk factors (Gutierrez & Osman, 2008).


What we want to see in our ourselves and our neighbors in Canby is suicide resilience which is defined as ‘‘the perceived ability, resources, or competence to regulate suicide-related thoughts, feelings, and attitudes’’(Osman et al., 2004, p. 1351). 


Protective factors then are personal or environmental characteristics that help strengthen a person’s suicide resilience.

Protective Factors for strengthening suicide resilience include:

  • Connectedness to individuals, family, community, and social institutions

  • Life skills including:

    • Problem solving skills

    • Conflict management and resolution

    • Stress management

    • Change management

    • Handling problems in a non-violent way

    • Emotional coping skills

  • Purpose or meaning in life

  • Dignity and self-esteem at normal levels

  • Mental health care is accessible and effective

  • Beliefs in Cultural, religious, or personal ways that discourage suicide

  • Restricted access to lethal means

Recommendations for Canby:

  • Events: Promote events which encourage conversation, relationship building, friendship, community service

    •  Use Scholarships to provide access to events for all, especially the economically challenged.

  • Service: Encourage participation is clubs, sport teams, music, theater etc.

    • Rotary, Kiwanis, Chamber of Commerce, Lions…

    • Canby Kids, Football, soccer, tennis, running, swim club, dance…

    • Church service or social activities

  • Family: Promote city venues and activities which are conducive to family and group gatherings particularly in the winter months.

  • Life Skills Education: Offer classes which address…

    • Problem solving skills in a non-violent way

    • Conflict management and resolution

    • Change management

    • Stress management

    • Emotional coping skills

  • Purpose: Promote programs which strengthen personal dignity and purpose.

    • Use Scholarships to provide access to programs for all, especially the economically challenged.

    • Young Life

    • Canby Adult Center

    • Thriving Together program @ The Canby Center

    • Bridging Cultures

    • Sports, Canby Kids

    • Young Citizens City Council

    • Youth Groups and church services

  • Mental Health Care:

    • Offer Mental health services and support

    • Identify populations that lack access to mental health services

    • Reduce financial and transportation barriers to seeking support

    • Partner with Providence, Legacy, etc.

    • Identify local resources and produce a pamphlet for Canby

  • Messaging: Identify messages which discourage suicide by connecting with personal, cultural, and religious beliefs.

    • Partner with local churches, clubs, etc to have an awareness week.

    • Use messaging that is positive in nature and point to the benefits of life

  • Means: Restrict access to lethal means

    • Research and create a community program for the reduction of lethal means.

    • Create a public awareness campaign for the safe storage of guns.

    • Raise awareness about the drug drop at the Police station.

    • Train first responders in lethal means counselling.

    • Distribute free or low-cost gun locks at Canby Gun Shows.

    • Ensure that all railroad crossings have permanent signage and equipment to discourage casual crossing


Talking Points

Need a little help remembering what to share?

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PowerPoint Slides

Powerpoint Slides to support sharing about Suicide Prevention.

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Please consider a gift to support suicide prevention in Canby.

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