A protective factor is a characteristic or attribute that reduces the likelihood of attempting or completing suicide. Protective factors are skills, strengths, or resources that help people deal more effectively with stressful events. They enhance resilience and help to counterbalance risk factors. Protective factors can be considered to be either personal or external/ environmental.
Increasing protective factors can serve to decrease suicide risk. Strengthening these factors should be an ongoing process to increase resiliency during the presence of increased risk factors or other stressful situations. However, positive resistance to suicide is not permanent, so programs that support and maintain protection against suicide should be ongoing.
*SOURCE: Information was adapted from origional sources:
Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Suicide Prevention Scientific Information: Risk and Protective Factors. Retrieved on August 2, 2010 from http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/dvp/suicide/Suicide-risk-p-factors.htmSuicide Prevention Resource Center. Risk and Protective Factors for Suicide. Retrieved on August 2, 2010 from http://www.sprc.org/library/srisk.pdf