Family Resources

Here is prevention information, support and resources for families who may be dealing with suicide, sudden infant death and bereavement. 

Suicide Prevention

Are you feeling desperate, alone or hopeless? Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Your call will be routed to the nearest crisis center to you.

The Vermont Youth Suicide Prevention Platform is the product of a coordinated approach to reducing suicide and suicidal behaviors. The Department of Health, the Department of Mental Health, and a suicide prevention planning team in conjunction with an advocacy group, Vermonters for Suicide Prevention, have developed the goals for this platform:

  • Reduce the rates of suicide attempts and other suicidal behaviors
  • Prevent suicide deaths across the life span
  • Reduce the harmful after-effects associated with suicidal behaviors and the traumatic impact of suicide on family and friends
  • Improve mental health of Vermonters through early intervention, crisis treatment, and continuing care

Services, Information and Resources

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

Dial "2-1-1"
Vermont 2-1-1 is a 24/7 live health and human services information and referral service for all of Vermont.

Suicide Prevention Resource Center

Warning signs of suicide

Suicide Facts

Vermont Youth Suicide Prevention Platform

U Matter

Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID)

Sudden Unexpected Infant Death is the death of an infant under 1 year of age that is unexpected and initially unexplained.

Frequently, a cause of death is determined after a thorough investigation and autopsy by a medical examiner. The deaths that remain unexplained may be classified as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). SIDS is a type of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death.

Practices and risk factors that may contribute to SUID:

  • Placing the infant on tummy or side when sleeping.
  • Placing the baby on loose bedding or soft sleep surfaces such as, quilts, comforters, sheepskin, pillow-like toys, pillows; or sleeping on a waterbed, couch or chair. These keep the baby from breathing easily.
  • Infant exposure to any tobacco smoke during and after pregnancy.
  • Bedsharing with other children or adults.
  • Overdressing /bundling the baby too tightly in heavy blankets or a room that is too hot.
  • Preterm and low birth weight infants.
  • Maternal risk factors such as:
    • age younger than 20 at first pregnancy
    • a short interval between pregnancies
    • late or no prenatal care
    • placental abnormalities
    • low weight gain during pregnancy
    • alcohol and substance abuse
    • smoking
    • history of sexually transmitted disease or urinary tract infection

Learn more about safe sleep to help keep baby safe

Safe Sleep With Your New Baby - A Guide To New Parents from GRPNY on Vimeo.


Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden death of an infant under 1 year of age, which remains unexplained after a thorough investigation including a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene and review of the clinical history.

In the United States, SIDS is the most common circumstance of death in infants from 1 month to 1 year. Most deaths occur between 2 to 4 months of age. Typically, a seemingly healthy infant dies suddenly and unexpectedly, usually during a period of sleep. SIDS can occur in families of any race, socio-economic status, religion or nationality. SIDS is likely due to multiple causes which have yet to be understood. However, SIDS is not caused by suffocation, child abuse, immunizations, vomiting, choking or by minor illnesses such as a cold or infection. SIDS is not contagious.

After thorough investigation that excludes all identifiable causes of death, the death will be certified as having an undetermined cause, which is similar to the use of “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome” in other jurisdictions. Risk factors for SUID identified during investigation that remain of uncertain significance for death may also be listed on the death certificate for epidemiologic purposes.

Learn more about safe sleep to help keep baby safe