Establish closer-to-real-time data collection systems.

We must establish access to real-time data on mental health and suicide to better identify, intervene, and mitigate suicide and suicidal distress. Just as real-time data is made available regarding COVID-19 infections and deaths, we need real-time data to address the mental health and suicide-related impacts of the pandemic.

Dr. Rajeev Ramchand

Advancing Priority 4

The National Response is working to enhance underfunded public health and suicide surveillance systems. Establishing a closer-to-real time unified data collection system will require collaboration and governments, health systems, and payers need to recognize the urgency to invest in faster and more widely available data. Closer-to-real-time data and better quality data surveillance will help mental health professionals better identify, intervene, and mitigate sudden increases in suicides and suicidal distress. Data collection will also help to inform and monitor the effects of relevant policies.


Priority 4 Work Group

Priority 4 is one of six strategic imperatives the National Response has identified to help transform mental health and suicide prevention nationwide in the wake of the pandemic and beyond. 

The co-leaders of the multi-sector Priority 4 Work Group are:

  • Dr. Richard McKeon, Chief Suicide Prevention Branch, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Dr. Rajeev Ramchand, Senior Behavioral Scientist, RAND Corporation

Please visit this page often for progress updates and for information on how you can get involved.

Priority 4 specific resources:

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