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Framework for Community-Driven Suicide Prevention

The Community Suicide Prevention Initiative (CSPI) Leadership Group meets monthly and is comprised of passionate, dedicated representatives from public and private organizations as well as community stakeholders. Together, they provide strategic guidance to CSPI planning activities, facilitating a collaborative approach to suicide prevention.

With guidance from the CSPI Community Forum, the Leadership Group developed a community-driven framework for suicide prevention, which aims to build collaboration among public and private organizations, community stakeholders and suicide survivors.

The framework is informed by the National Action Alliance’s “7 Key Elements for Comprehensive Community-Based Suicide Prevention.”

  1. Unity: Attainment and maintenance of broad-based momentum around a shared vision
  1. Planning: Use of a strategic, planning process that lays out stakeholder roles and intended outcomes
  1. Integration: Use of multiple, integrated suicide prevention strategies
  1. Fit: Alignment of activities with context, culture and readiness
  1. Communication: Clear, open and consistent communication
  1. Data: Use of surveillance and evaluation data to guide action, assess progress and make changes
  1. Sustainability: A focus on long-lasting change

The CSPI Framework for Community-Based Suicide Prevention has Four Basic Steps:

Step 1: Reach out to high-risk populations and engage those in need.  This includes adolescents and young adults, with a focus on LGBTQ individuals, foster youth and high achievers. Also, men in their middle years including veterans and first responders, and older adults, particularly homebound seniors living in isolation; cultural minorities, and single, unemployed men.

Step 2: Maintain contact with those in need and support continuity of care.  This includes using technology, service navigation and compassion to stay in touch with at-risk individuals, survivors and family members coping with grief and loss.

Step 3: Improve the lives of those in need through comprehensive services and supports.  Additional capacity within provider organizations and across community-based supports is needed to meet the growing demand for treatment, and to improve access to care.

Step 4: Build community awareness, reduce stigma and promote help seeking.  This is achieved through training, prevention events and awareness building across providers, faith-based organizations, schools, businesses and the broader community.

Next Steps

Building a Countywide Suicide Prevention Coalition in OC

To bring the CSPI Framework to life, a broader set of partners will be needed to implement and align various outreach, engagement, capacity building, training, crisis intervention and support activities. The CSPI Leadership Group will continue to provide strategic guidance and direction on all activities while we simultaneously expand the governance structure.

Expanding Community Outreach and Engagement

Be Well OC will continue to align, elevate and support community-based outreach, prevention, and follow-up efforts across CSPI to build awareness, address stigma, and eliminate suicides and suicide attempts in Orange County.

Engage Interested Community Partners in Piloting the CSPI Framework

Be Well OC will engage high-need communities who wish to adopt the CSPI framework, and who have local leadership and stakeholder support to pilot test the CSPI Framework. Each of the four components of the framework will be piloted to the extent existing resources are available.

Planning for Sustainability and Spread

The lessons learned through community implementation efforts will be used to expand the CSPI activities into additional communities, eventually reaching all regions and populations in Orange County. Pilot efforts will integrate new and existing suicide prevention activities into a system for suicide prevention that is sustainable and scalable, built on the principles of population health and equity.