Delaware County Suicide Prevention Awareness
Protective Factors
Home
New DCSPTF Site
Problem
Vision
Mission
Background
Activities
Objectives
Definitions
Principles
Plans
Resources
Risk Factors
Triggers
Warning Signs
Protective Factors
Myths
Readings

Protective factors are things about an individual's personality, background, beliefs and values, social or family situation, environment, and so forth that can help in preventing or overcoming suicidal feelings. They enhance an individual's response to chronic stress or traumatic events in her/his life. They are related to the concept of "resilience." Some protective factors are:

- Optimism and a positive orientation towards the future

- Good coping capability

- Strong problem-solving skills

- Willingness to readiliy seek and accept help

- A good sense of self-esteem and self-worth

- Strong spiritual values and religious ties

- Close family or social bonds

- Emotional stability (i.e., not being impulsive or short-tempered)

Other important protective factors are a personal awareness of the nature of suicide, risk factors, warning signs, and when and where to get help.

Suicide prevention at the individual level is basically a matter of strengthening existing protective factors and facilitating the addition of new ones. Protective factors may change or weaken and need to be maintained and reinforced on an ongoing basis.