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Zero Suicide is a national model for preventing suicide and improving care among at-risk patients. In 2018, Intermountain made a bold commitment to Zero Suicide and set a goal to reduce the rate of suicide of its patients and geographic areas by 10% by the end of 2022. Intermountain aims to achieve this by

  • reducing access to lethal means,
  • encouraging help-seeking behaviors and attitudes,
  • reducing stigma,
  • enhancing the knowledge, safety, and resilience of caregivers, and
  • improving transitions in care for vulnerable patients.

This work cannot be accomplished by the healthcare system alone. Intermountain depends on partnerships with local government, faith, academic, and advocacy organizations to reduce suffering and save lives.


Firearms and suicide in the communities we serve

Firearms are the leading method of suicide in Intermountain’s geographic service areas, responsible for half, or more, of suicides. Preventing firearm-related suicide is a major focus of Intermountain’s Zero Suicide work. Counseling on Access to Lethal Means, or CALM, is a brief intervention that healthcare professionals can use to reduce access to lethal means for people at risk. Intermountain recently developed an online CALM training course, available to healthcare providers of all backgrounds. While tailored to Utah, the same principles can be applied in Idaho and Nevada.

CALM-UT teaches clinicians how to ask patients about their access to lethal means, while working with the patient and families to reduce their access in a supportive and engaging method. It’s free and offers continuing education credits for physicians and social workers. A training profile can be accessed here and CALM training here.


Learn to Look: Suicide Warning Signs

  • Talking about wanting to die
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increase in drug or alcohol use
  • Acting anxious, agitated or recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge

Protective Factors

We can help prevent suicide by enhancing the protective factors in a person’s life. Protective factors include things like:

  • Effective mental health or substance use treatment
  • Positive connections to family, peers, community, and social institutions that foster resilience
  • Restricted access to highly lethal means of suicide
  • Skills in problem solving, conflict resolution, and nonviolent handling of disputes
  • Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide and encourage hope and healing

Risk Factors

Suicide is a complex behavior and generally cannot be attributed to a single cause or event. People who attempt suicide may be struggling with mental illness, trauma, or a recent life crisis. Several other factors that may put a person at increased risk for suicide include:

  • Previous suicide attempt(s)
  • History of depression or mental illness
  • Lack of social support
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Family history of suicide or violence
  • Loss of a family member or friend, especially if by suicide
  • Easy access to lethal methods (such as firearms or pills)
  • Stressful life event or loss
  • Relationship or school problems
  • Physical health problems like chronic pain or traumatic brain injury

How to Help

If you’re unsure how to start the conversation with a loved one check out these helpful tips.


Find resources here.


Find survivor resources here.