Partnerships For Life – Global Initiative To Prevent Suicide: An Update On Progress In The Americas

Partnerships for Life (in Spanish: Aliados por la vida) started as an initiative in 2021 by the International Association for Suicide Prevention aimed at promoting national suicide prevention strategies. The initiative is divided according to the six World Health Organization Regions. As for all regions, the goal in the Americas is to reach, connect, welcome, and support partners and stakeholders in suicide prevention from countries across the region. Currently, the project has successfully connected with 25 out of the 35 independent territories of the Americas, reaching out to over 120 active partners and holding meetings with key international organizations such as the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO). Following a decolonial approach, this initiative has identified and explored the activities of different prevention systems in 10 countries, identifying strengths, limitations, and steps to improve and move forward. This has been achieved by meeting with suicide prevention leaders and volunteers, including clinicians, academics, public officials and ministry representatives, non-profit organizations, and survivors, among others. Some of the working challenges identified are the promotion of suicide research, the creation of optimal public policies, the elaboration and planning of national strategies, and the creation and maintenance of broad societal support for suicide prevention. During phase one of implementation (i.e., connecting with new partners), we spearheaded workshops bringing partners from different countries together to discuss existing and planned national suicide prevention strategies, and we are currently drafting the first situational report on suicide prevention in the Americas. This presentation will describe our progress in detail, our plans for future phases of the partnership now that it is firmly established, and how we hope that this work will include and benefit the people of Guyana.