Understanding Risk and Protective Factors for Suicide: A Primer for Preventing Suicide

Risk and protective factors play a critical role in suicide prevention. For clinicians, identifying risk and protective factors provides critical information to assess and manage suicide risk in individuals. For 
communities and prevention programs, identifying risk and protective factors provides direction about what to change or promote. Many lists of risk factors are available throughout the field of suicide 
prevention. This paper provides a brief overview of the importance of risk and protective factors as they relate to suicide and offers guidance about how communities can best use them to decrease suicide risk.