In 2023, Mental Health America, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Center for Law and Social Justice Policy (CLASP) created an equity-centered framework to characterize public health's unique role in suicide prevention and mental health promotion. This framework is a plain-language tool to help state health officials understand and actualize concrete, evidence-based public health strategies to prevent suicide and promote mental health, focusing on what works in disproportionately affected populations.
The framework is rooted in the values of social and institutional equity, data, and research-informed actions, community-led solutions, and multi-sector partnerships. Using feedback from focus groups and input from partners, ASTHO, CDC, MHA and CLASP have defined the role of public health across two categories:
- Promoting well-being by improving the essential conditions for health and enhancing access to the supports
- Opportunities that provide care while reducing harm and isolation.