Strong Personal Relationships: particularly with those in the individual’s closest circle, such as partners, family members, peers, friends, and significant others. Close relationships can be particularly protective for the elderly and adolescents. Find resources about personal relationships in our Mindfulness Section.
Religious or Spiritual Beliefs. While religious or spiritual beliefs have been shown to be a protective factor in suicide prevention, research has also been shown that these beliefs can contribute to suicide stigma. Thus, whether religion or spiritual practices serve as a protective factor depends on cultural and contextual practices. The sense of community, cohesiveness, and support that religion can provide has been shown to be strong protective factors. Find resources about spirituality in our Mindfulness Section.
Positive Coping Strategies and Well-being. Coping strategies that have been shown to be protective factors for suicide include:
Willingness to seek help in the face of adversity.
Healthy lifestyle choices, such as:
Practicing regular physical exercise.
Adequate sleep and diet.
Healthy relationships and social contact.
Effective management of stress. Find resources about positive coping strategies and well-being in our Mindfulness Section.
Protective Factors for Adolescents and Young Adults
These are divided into different domains:
Age-appropriate physical development.
Good physical health and good intellectual functioning.
Ability to learn from experiences.
High level of problem-solving ability.
Good social skills.
Better recognition and treatment of depression, particularly through antidepressants, can help to reduce suicide rates.
Connectedness to community.
Opportunities for leisure.
Positive cultural experiences.
Positive role models.
Rewards for community involvement.
Connection with community organizations.
Protective Factors for Suicide in Mexican Youth
Little is written about protective factors for suicide in Mexican youth. In addition to the previously described protective factors for adolescents and young adults worldwide, considered protective factors for Mexican youth are:
The role of cohesiveness in Mexican culture, particularly among family members and extended family networks.
Focus on family and the fact that youth in Mexico tend to live with their families longer than in other countries, such as the U.S., might influence the later age of onset of mental illness in Mexico.
Education has also shown to be another protective factor for young people worldwide and in Mexico as it allows young people to “focus on the developmental demands of adolescence, limiting peer interaction to same age and normative peer groups, keeping youth out of high-risk contexts, providing structure, supervision, and additional resources such as problem-solving abilities, critical thinking, and self esteem to ease the later transition from school to work”.
This website was created as a doctoral project of William James College in Newton, Massachusetts, USA; it is an initiative of Vive Con Vida (founded in 2013 by the author of this project, Paulina Fuentes Moad), which is a Mexican non-profit organization and trademark product intended to provide culturally sensitive psycho-education about suicide risk and prevention to Mexican youth. Hopefully, this initiative will be a first step in starting a conversation with both public/mental health specialists and policy makers about how to increase suicide awareness and prevention among Mexican youth.
The content of this website will be updated periodically. Vive Con Vida staff does not provide crisis intervention services through e-mail or any other means. If you and/or a loved one is feeling suicidal, please call 911 or go to your nearest ER.