Preventing Trauma and Suicide During Catastrophic Events and Beyond

A project of:


Catastrophic events like the COVID-19 pandemic, hurricanes, or other disasters can cause major upheaval in the lives of individuals and communities as a whole, disrupting the social fabric and cutting people off from much needed support. Preventing trauma and suicide under these conditions, and in the long term, requires dedicated attention and resources.

Where do I start?

The CDC’s Suicide Prevention Technical Package (link is external) and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Prevention Technical Package (link is external) share strategies with the greatest potential to prevent suicide and trauma based on the best available research. This toolkit offers a foundation for activities during periods of infrastructure disruption due to catastrophic events such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The toolkit’s suicide prevention modules offer communities and states guidance and tools to assess their local contexts, populations most impacted by suicide, and promising strategies. The concepts in the modules build on one another, and additional modules will be added in the coming months.

What resources are available?

Module 1: Making the case

Why do we need to consider suicide prevention during catastrophic events?

Module 2: A Public Health Approach

What is a collaborative public health approach to suicide prevention?

Module 3: Bringing equity to suicide prevention

How can we support communities at elevated risk of suicide?

Module 4: Developing strategies

How can we prevent suicide during catastrophic events and beyond?

Suicide and ACEs prevention multimedia resources


Who are these resources designed for? ​

Government agencies and community-based organizations operating at the state and local levels, though others may find these tools valuable as well.

If you are thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States. Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (Español: 1-888-628-9454; deaf and hard of hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, or visit Talk to Someone Now (link is external). You can access resources designed by and for people of color here (link is external).


This project is supported by Cooperative Agreement No. 6 NU38OT000305-02-03 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Department of Health and Human Services or the CDC.