Zero Suicide Elements

Implementing the Zero Suicide Elements Countywide

The Zero Suicide framework was designed to be clinical in focus, and implementation of  the elements in medical and behavioral health care settings has been successful in reducing suicide. The goal of the Destination Zero initiative is to adapt and implement this framework across the county in a variety of settings so that no matter where someone is, or who they have contact with, they are connected to effective services and receive the best possible care.

The 7 Elements of the Zero Suicide framework are:

  1. Lead – Create a leadership-driven, safety-oriented culture committed to dramatically reducing suicide among people under care. Include survivors of suicide attempts and suicide loss in leadership and planning roles.
  2. Train – Develop a competent, confident, and caring workforce.
  3. Identify – Systematically identify and assess suicide risk among people receiving care.
  4. Engage – Ensure every individual has a pathway to care that is both timely and adequate to meet his or her needs. Include collaborative safety planning and restriction of lethal means.
  5. Treat – Use effective, evidence-based treatments that directly target suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
  6. Transition – Provide continuous contact and support, especially after acute care.
  7. Improve – Apply a data-driven quality improvement approach to inform system changes that will lead to improved patient outcomes and better care for those at risk.  (Source: About Zero Suicide)

Learn more about Zero Suicide and access the many resources of the toolkit.


Introducing the Initiative

In June 2018, a two-day training was held in Fond du Lac that served as the the official “kick-off” of the Destination Zero Initiative. This training was a huge success, with nearly 50 attendees from 18 local organizations coming together to learn how to implement Zero Suicide practices within their organizations and across our county. Evaluation results indicated that participants left the training with a better understanding of how to develop a comprehensive, system-wide approach to suicide care. The training included the lived-experience perspective which provided insight into how interventions can be more effective. Frequent small group discussions allowed participants to hear how other agencies address similar problems and brainstorm solutions. Participants identified gatekeeper trainings, treatment approaches (such as DBT & CBT-SP), safety planning, and  improved communication as key priorities to address as the initiative moves forward.


To receive updates about  Destination Zero initiative activities, please email the coordinator, Tammi Kohlman to be added to our list of engaged community members.