Media Statement: The Jed Foundation (JED) Commends the Biden-Harris Administration’s Updated National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and First-Ever Federal Action Plan

April 23, 2024, New York CityThe Jed Foundation (JED) stands in full support of the 2024 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (National Strategy) and Federal Action Plan (Action Plan), unveiled today at The White House. The landmark documents provide a national roadmap for suicide prevention efforts in communities across the country and at every level of government. JED applauds the vital enhancements to the National Strategy and stresses the importance of a united, comprehensive approach to preventing suicide. 

“Our nation is at a critical juncture for suicide prevention and mental health care. Suicide rates for young people have been rising for over a decade due to factors that include isolation, increasing access to firearms, difficulty accessing quality services, and the compounding impacts of the social determinants of health like poverty and unmet basic needs,” said John MacPhee, CEO of The Jed Foundation. “JED will continue our mission of creating a healthier tomorrow for today’s youth by implementing top-line strategies—like those outlined in the National Strategy—in our work to create communities of care that will strengthen systems and protect youth mental health.”

The National Strategy highlights the need for an equitable, collaborative, and comprehensive effort, one that brings together individuals, communities, organizations, and policymakers to address this critical issue. It pioneers a “whole of government” approach, unifying efforts across over 20 federal agencies and offices, underpinned by the collaborative expertise of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (of which JED is a proud member), and leading health authorities. This marks the first time such an extensive, interdepartmental action plan has been set in motion to address suicide prevention at a national scale. By citing community as a critical context for upstream suicide prevention efforts, the National Strategy acknowledges the need to meet people where they live, learn, work, and play. 

At JED, we are particularly encouraged by commitments to: 

  • Integrate suicide prevention into the fabric of our educational institutions. With clear steps outlined for supporting schools, the Action Plan recognizes the critical role of our educational settings in fostering emotional well-being and resilience among young people.
  • Enhance protective factors, such as fostering strong personal connections and building life skills. This effort also strongly aligns with our own evidence-based programs and resources grounded in JED’s Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention for Colleges and Universities and for High Schools
  • Research and support best practices for suicide prevention while increasing access to data on equitable and scalable prevention measures. 
  • Take clear action steps to reduce access to lethal means and improve education on lethal means safety across age groups. 
  • Create postvention services for individuals and communities following a death by suicide, including support for the bereaved, which is critical to helping survivors cope with loss. 

“It’s been twelve years since the last National Strategy for Suicide Prevention was released, and in that time, the state of youth mental health in America has changed significantly. JED is proud to have contributed to actionable systemic and systematic change that will be felt on the federal, state, and local level,” said Dr. Zainab Okolo, Senior Vice President of Policy, Advocacy & Government Relations at The Jed Foundation. “As JED’s academic programming works with over 1,200 schools, districts, and campuses, including 77 minority-serving institutions, we’re actively establishing a safety net for more than 6.5 million children in pre-K, K-12, college, and beyond by improving mental health and lowering the risk of suicide. Equitable and quality access to mental health care should be a right for every young person, and through JED’s policy and advocacy efforts, we are working to make this a reality.”

Learn more about the latest trends affecting youth suicide and what a path to prevention looks like by reading JED’s report, Youth Suicide: Current Trends and the Path to Prevention. 

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts—or if you are worried someone in your life may be—find hope and helpful resources in JED’s Mental Health Resource Center. If you need help right now, text or call 988 or use the chat function at 988lifeline.org.

About The Jed Foundation (JED)
JED is a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults. We’re partnering with high schools and colleges to strengthen their mental health, substance misuse, and suicide prevention programs and systems. We’re equipping teens and young adults with the skills and knowledge to help themselves and each other. We’re encouraging community awareness, understanding, and action for young adult mental health.
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Media Contact:
Justin Barbo
Director of Public Relations, The Jed Foundation

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If you or someone you know needs to talk to someone right now, text, call, or chat 988 for a free confidential conversation with a trained counselor 24/7. 

You can also contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741-741.

If this is a medical emergency or if there is immediate danger of harm, call 911 and explain that you need support for a mental health crisis.