Intersection of Suicide, Overdose, and Adverse Childhood Experiences

The intersection of suicide, overdose, and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) is an exceedingly critical area in the field of public health. The relationship between these three issues is complex, as they share overlapping risk and protective factors and can lead to harmful social and behavioral health outcomes.

AC Es Overdose Suicide infographic v3

Such outcomes can affect the mental, physical, and emotional health of individuals, families, and communities across generations. The development and implementation of comprehensive strategies that aim to reduce risk factors and enhance protective factors may help prevent and mitigate future harms.


This webpage will serve as a resource hub on this issue, providing information, resources, and tools for local health departments seeking to build their capacity to address these converging epidemics within their own communities.

Pages from Addressing the Intersection Guide Final

Just Released: A new resource from NACCHO and EDC, Addressing the Intersection of Suicide, Overdose, and Adverse Childhood Experiences, can help advance the vital work of health departments. The resource guides health departments and their partners in using the CDC-supported Community-Led Suicide Prevention Toolkit to take a comprehensive, collaborative approach to addressing shared protective and risk factors, strengthening support, and improving outcomes for people of all ages.

With support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NACCHO began work with the Association for State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) to create a tool designed to assess capacity in suicide, overdose, and ACE prevention.

AC Es Suicide Overdose Venn Diagram v2

Acknowledging the urgency to address the threats of these issues potentially exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Suicide, Overdose, and ACE Prevention Capacity Assessment Tool (SPACECAT) was developed.

SPACECAT will help health departments build and sustain their capacity to address these topics through the identification of cross-cutting needs and gaps in their prevention strategies. This assessment tool can provide insight for strategic planning, program improvement, technical assistance requests, and relevant funding opportunities. SPACECAT can strengthen local, state, and territorial health agency capacity to address their jurisdiction’s needs now and in the future.

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) is pleased to announce the launch of Addressing the Intersection of Suicide, Overdose, and Adverse Childhood Experiences: What Is the Capacity of Local Health Departments?” This national fielding report summarizes local health departments’ capacities to address suicide, overdose, and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and provides recommendations to local health departments engaging in these efforts.

NACCHO also developed an infographic to accompany the the above national fielding report. This infographic provides key findings from the national fielding report.

The report and infographic were developed with funding from the CDC. If you have any questions about the report, please contact the NACCHO Injury and Violence Prevention Team at [email protected].

Suicide, Overdose, and Adverse Childhood Experiences Toolkit

This toolkit provides guidance on strengthening LHD capacity in each of the SPACECAT’s key capacity domains. Go back to visit other domains.

Suicide, Overdose, and Adverse Childhood Experiences Toolkit

SPACECAT Quick Start Guide

The guide provides a step-by-step process to guide the development of an action plan to increase capacity to prevent suicide, overdose, and ACEs

SPACECAT Quick Start Guide

Learn More

Additional SPACECAT Resources

Visit ASTHO's webpage to access additional SPACECAT resources including their ASTHOExperts video series and a SPACECAT Roadmap

Learn More

Additional SPACECAT Resources

NACCHO is collecting resources to help LHDs develop their capacity in those areas identified by the results of the SPACECAT tool.

These tools and resources are mapped to the domains within the SPACECAT Tool and are divided into two categories: Infrastructure Capacity and Topical Capacity.

Additional information overviewing these topic areas can be found through the CDC’s Injury Center:

For any requests to submit materials that support for LHDs and their partners, please contact us at [email protected].

This collection of tools and resources helps LHDs develop their knowledge and ability to implement evidence-based prevention strategies for suicide, overdose, and ACEs.

    Community Health

    Health Disparities

    Health disparities are differences in health outcomes that are linked to inequities in social, economic, or environmental conditions.

    Community Health

    Health Disparities

    Community Health

    Workforce Capacity

    Support education and training of health department staff and other stakeholders to prevent suicide, overdose, and ACEs.

    Community Health

    Workforce Capacity

    Community Health

    Shared Planning and Strategic Plans

    LHD's look address the intersection of strategic plan for suicide, overdose, and ACE's prevention and a shared plan for implementation.

    Community Health

    Shared Planning and Strategic Plans

    Community Health Program

    Stacy Stanford

    Senior Director, Overdose, Injury, and Violence Prevention

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    Community Health Program

    Caroline Snyder

    Director, Injury and Violence Prevention

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    References

    1. United States, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. (n.d.). Urgent, Related, Preventable: Adverse Childhood Experiences, Overdose, and Suicide. Retrieved 2021, from https://www.asam.org/docs/defa...

    2. Merrick MT, Ford DC, Ports KA, et al. Vital Signs: Estimated Proportion of Adult Health Problems Attributable to Adverse Childhood Experiences and Implications for Prevention — 25 States, 2015–2017. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2019;68(44):999-1005. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm6844e1

    3. Hedegaard, M.D., H., & Spencer, M.P.H., M. R. (2021, March). NCHS Data Brief: Urban-Rural Differences in Drug Overdose Death Rates, 1999-2019 (Rep. No. 403). Retrieved April, 2021, from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/...

    4. WISQARS (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System)|Injury Center|CDC. Accessed March 26, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/injury/wis...

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