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CVS Health reports progress against goal to reduce suicide attempts among Aetna members 20% by 2025

September 22, 2022 | Mental Health |4 minute read time

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Suicide prevention strategy propelled a significant reduction in suicide attempts among adult members

Goal inspired by American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Project 2025 initiative

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Sept. 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) announced its milestone progress against the goal set last year of reducing Aetna member suicide attempts 20% by 2025.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people between the ages of 10 and 34. It does not have to be. Nearly all people (90%) who die by suicide have an underlying, and potentially treatable, mental health condition.

In 2017, Aetna, a CVS Health company, initiated its support for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's (AFSP) goal to reduce the suicide rate 20% by the year 2025, as part of AFSP's Project 2025 initiative. Inspired by this initiative, CVS Health launched its own goal to reduce suicide attempts 20% among Aetna members by the year 2025:

  • Overall trend: CVS Health has seen a 15.7% reduction in suicide attempts amongst Aetna members through March 2022 compared to 2019 baselines.
  • Aetna members ages 18+: 17.5% decrease in suicide attempts in 2021 and a 34.1% decrease through March 2022 compared to the same 2019 baselines.
  • Aetna members ages 13-17: 43% increase in suicide attempts in 2021 and 32% increase through March 2022 compared to the same 2019 baselines.


While CVS Health has made significant progress in adult Aetna members (age 18+), improvement is still needed amongst adolescents (age 13-17). Earlier this year, three of the nation's top pediatric healthcare organizations declared a National State of Emergency in children's mental health, demonstrating the immediate need to address youth mental health.

"Our members are not immune to the national suicide crisis reported by the CDC. Though we are on track lowering suicide attempts in adults, our goal will not be reached until we can say the same for adolescents," said Sree Chaguturu, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health. "We are doubling down on efforts to prevent suicide in teens by identifying those most at-risk and in need of intervention, reaching out to those discharged from the ER after a suicide attempt with resources and supporting parents and loved ones in prioritizing the mental health of their kids."

Reducing suicide among Aetna members

To achieve its goal, CVS Health is focused on expanded resources and outreach to adolescents, including:

  • Aetna's Adolescent Outreach Program uses self-harm risk modeling to proactively support families with children at the highest risk of suicide attempt.
  • Aetna's partnership with Vita Health and Oui Therapeutics provides access to Youth Nominated Support Teams and clinical outpatient programs with evidence-based therapies and interventions.
  • Aetna's Caring Contacts program reaches out to adolescent members with comfort items after they are discharged from inpatient or emergency department care for suicide ideation or attempts to let them know they are valued and that support is available to them.


Aetna also continues to work directly with health care providers to ensure they have the education and resources to identify and treat adolescents and young adults at risk of suicide.

"We are implementing evidence-based therapies and outreach programs to prevent suicidal ideation before it starts and get adolescents the clinical care they need when they are at risk," said Cara McNulty, President, Behavioral Health and Mental Well-being, CVS Health. "Every suicide attempt prevented, life saved, and mental health resource sought is an important step to reducing death by suicide in the United States."

For more details on CVS Health's suicide prevention efforts, please visit here.

About CVS Health

CVS Health is the leading health solutions company, delivering care like no one else can. We reach more people and improve the health of communities across America through our local presence, digital channels and over 300,000 dedicated colleagues including more than 40,000 physicians, pharmacists, nurses and nurse practitioners. Wherever and whenever people need us, we help them with their health whether that's managing chronic diseases, staying compliant with their medications or accessing affordable health and wellness services in the most convenient ways. We help people navigate the health care system and their personal health care by improving access, lowering costs and being a trusted partner for every meaningful moment of health. And we do it all with heart, each and every day. Follow @CVSHealth on social media.

About Aetna

Aetna, a CVS Health business, serves an estimated 34 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental and behavioral health plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services, workers' compensation administrative services and health information technology products and services. Aetna's customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, visit and explore how Aetna is helping to build a healthier world.

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