Skip First Level Navigation | Skip All Navigation

Home > Warning Signs > Protective Factors

Tall male youthProtective Factors

Protective Factors are the positive conditions, personal and social resources that promote well-being and reduce the potential for youth suicide as well as other related high-risk behaviors. Just as suicide risks rise from an interaction between familial, genetic, and environmental factors, so do protective factors. They help keep risk factors from becoming overwhelming.

Personal Protective Factors

  • Strong attitudes, values, and norms prohibiting suicide, including strong beliefs about the meaning and value of life
  • Life skills (i.e., decision-making, problem-solving, anger management, conflict management, and social skills)
  • Good health, access to health care
  • Best friends, supportive significant others
  • Religious/spiritual beliefs
  • A healthy fear of risky behavior, pain
  • Hope for the future
  • Sobriety (not drinking)
  • Taking prescribed medicines for health problems
  • Good impulse control
  • Strong sense of self-worth
  • A sense of personal control

Environmental Protective Factors

  • Strong interpersonal bonds, particularly with family members and other caring adults
  • Opportunities to participate in and contribute to school and/or community projects/activities
  • A reasonably safe, stable environment
  • Difficult access to lethal means
  • Responsibilities/duties to others
  • Pets