The Cape and Islands Suicide Prevention Coalition is pleased to announce publication of a Position Statement outlining its public education and awareness strategy.  Although significant numbers of people attempt suicide, suicide is not a common event.  Yet when they occur, suicide threats, attempts and deaths ripple across all layers of a community.  With suicide rates 1 ½ times higher than the state average, Cape Cod and the Islands have identified suicide prevention as a public health priority.  90% of people who die by suicide have underlying mental health and substance abuse issues at the time of the act of suicide, yet effective treatment can significantly reduce the risk of suicide. A comprehensive community suicide prevention program requires the education of and participation by all members of the community. This includes recognizing risk and protective factors, restricting access to potentially lethal means, providing adequate screening and treatment for mental health and substance use and promoting social networks.  A full copy of the report Cape and Islands Suicide Prevention Position Statement can also be found at www.suicideispreventable.net.