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The Frequently Asked Questions listings may have your answer. Use the search box (to the left) or follow one of the links below and see if your question may be answered. Otherwise, send us an email and we will respond within two (2) business days. (Our regular hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8AM to 5PM Eastern Time.)

General

Please consult SPRC’s State and Community pages for state contacts, local organizations, resources, and other opportunities.

You can also search for Garrett Lee Smith federally funded suicide prevention grantees in your area by going to our grantee locator map.

If the message is via local media coverage, a good place to start is for you to respond directly, either by contacting the reporter or writing a letter to the editor to express concern about how suicide is being covered. If possible, include hyperlinks to resources, such as the warning signs for suicide or to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Encourage reporting on suicide as a preventable public health issue and not just in response to a recent death. To learn more read Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide.

On the national level, the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) may be able to provide input on coordinated responses or formulate a response to news stories by involving experts and leaders in the field.  

Research indicates that the way suicide is reported in the media can affect vulnerable individuals and possibly contribute to additional suicides and suicide attempts. The way the media covers suicide can influence behavior negatively by contributing to suicide contagion or positively by encouraging help-seeking.  The following publications can help while minimizing dangers to those who may be at risk.

  • Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide were developed by leading experts in suicide prevention, in collaboration with several international suicide prevention and public health organizations, schools of journalism, media organizations and key journalists as well as Internet safety experts. The research-based recommendations include suggestions for online media, message boards, bloggers, and "citizen journalists."

  • Guide to Engaging the Media in Suicide Prevention teaches you how to serve as an effective media spokesperson and how to generate media coverage to create awareness of suicide prevention. The publication describes how to use television, radio, and print media and provides examples of press releases, media advisories, pitch letters, op-eds and more. It also gives tips for identifying appropriate media outlets, creating up-to-date media lists, and tracking your results.

In addition, Mental Health America is available to assist media professionals in their coverage of mental health issues. If you are a member of the media and would like information or to connect with a mental health expert, please contact mental Health America at 703-838-7516 or mediainfo@mentalhealthamerica.net.
 

Yes. Any communication or mass media materials for suicide prevention should follow the guidelines on Safe and Effective Messaging for Suicide Prevention.  These guidelines offer evidence-based recommendations for creating safe and effective messages for suicide prevention without posing a risk to vulnerable individuals. 

The Strategic Communication Planning Guide can provide guidance in strategically thinking through developing an effective communication initiative to support your suicide prevention goals whether you are developing a PSA, social marketing effort or another kind of communication initiative.

Video Evaluation Guidelines from the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) are based on evidence regarding the safety of suicide prevention messaging.  These guidelines are used by AAS Video Committee to review youth suicide prevention videos, and are available for use by others in the field.

SPRC does not maintain a hard copy inventory of our publications. However, materials in pdf format can be easily downloaded and printed.  Go to the SPRC Library and Resources section to view our publications.

Additionally, for state-specific resources please consult SPRC’s State and Community pages for state contacts who may have copies listing local resources.

The SAMHSA Store has a collection of materials in hard copy and PDF versions, including some that have been developed by SPRC. Materials related to suicide prevention are located under the tabs "Issues, Conditions & Disorders" and "Treatment, Prevention & Recovery". (Look for "suicide" and "suicide prevention" as subtopics.)   There are limits on how many copies you can order at one time but if you enter a number over that limit you are given a link to an over limit form. You can also register for an account on the SAMHSA Store page which makes ordering quantities of publications easier.  

A good place to start is our States and Communities section.  Here you will find individual stage pages which include local contacts as well as state and local efforts to prevent suicide.  

Other opportunities may be found with national organizations, some of which have local chapters:

  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (ASFP)  Chapter listings
     
  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Network consists of many local crisis centers.  Use their Crisis Center Locator to find the center nearest you and ask about volunteer opportunities.
     
  • The Suicide Prevention Action Network USA merged with AFSP in 2009 to create a public policy program. This program is dedicated to preventing suicide through public education and awareness, community engagement, and federal, state and local grassroots advocacy.
     
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
     
  • Mental Health America 

If you or someone you know is a survivor of suicide loss

You can find information concerning suicide and suicide prevention by:

  • Searching the SPRC Library for information and resources on suicide and suicide prevention by typing keywords or by selecting a particular topic.

  • Searching for information from medical and science  journal articles using the PubMed database. 

  • Reviewing Safetylit, a weekly compilation of journal citations related to injury which includes a category on Suicide and Self-Harm.   

  • Consulting SPRC's State and Community pages for state contacts and other state-specific information.

  • Searching the archives of SPRC's e-newsletter, the Weekly Spark, a weekly summary of national, state, and international news; analyses of relevant research findings; descriptions of funding opportunities, and links to additional resources.

One of the most commonly used suicide prevention activities is gatekeeper training. The SPRC Training Institute online course Choosing and Implementing a Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training Program helps participants:

  • Understand the role of gatekeeper training.

  • Decide if a gatekeeper training program is right for their school, organization, or community.

  • involve stakeholders; choose, implement, and evaluate a gatekeeper training program.

  • Provide ongoing support to sustain the program. 

The Comparison Table of Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training Programs is a side-by side comparison table of programs that are listed and described in the SPRC/AFSP Best Practices Registry. Viewers can click on the title of each program to read more information about it. Each program is described in terms of requirements, audiences, highlights and program objectives.

The SPRC Training Institute provides curricula and Research to Practice webinars designed to build capacity for suicide prevention.  To learn more please visit the SPRC Training Institute.

The Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk (AMSR) is a one-day workshop held in various parts of the country for mental health professionals and employee assistance professionals. The workshop is based on competencies that are core to assessing and managing suicide risk.

SPRC provides Suicide Prevention Online Trainings that are free, self-paced online courses (both live and archived) to train service providers, educators, health professionals, public officials, and community-based coalitions to develop effective suicide prevention programs and policies.

SPRC has archived webinars for recipients of SAMHSA’s Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention grants that cover topics such as school postvention, gatekeeper training, communication planning, new media, suicide prevention legislation, and work with various populations and settings, among many others. 

In addition,we recommend visiting your State and Community page for local contacts and organizations which may offer training.

The SPRC Events page lists training opportunities in various locations across the nation.

Additionally, the American Association of Suicidology has training programs and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and its local chapters have information on training. 

The SPRC e-newsletter, the Weekly Spark, announces training opportunities such as webinars and online courses on an ongoing basis. Subscribe to the Weekly Spark.

Still not finding what you’re looking for? Contact us.

SPRC posts position vacancies in our weekly e-newsletter, the Weekly Spark. (Subscribe to the Weekly Spark)  In addition, the nonprofit organization where SPRC operates—Education Development Center, Inc.—also has a job listing site. All applications to EDC or SPRC must be submitted online through the Candidate Manager system.

SPRC does not offer funding but we can suggest resources for finding financial support.

  • Ask & you will receive: A fundraising guide for suicide prevention advocates presents new ways to think about generating support for your program. Links to other resources are embedded throughout the document so that you can easily find the most relevant materials. This guide will help you think through your approach, select a strategy, and get started on a fundraising campaign

  • The Foundation Center's RFP Bulletin posts grant opportunities by topic and you can sign up for alerts as well.  . 

  • The Norris Consulting Group produces a monthly newsletter of open funding opportunities.  

  • Organizations and contacts on the SPRC State and Community pages for your state may have information on local funding.

  • The SPRC Library lists funding sources as well as strategies for obtaining funding for suicide prevention.

  •  SPRC’s weekly e-newsletter, the Weekly Spark summarizes descriptions of funding opportunities. Subscribe to the Weekly Spark.

Best Practices Registry

Initially, the BPR was a collaboration between the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). As of 2014, SPRC has assumed sole responsibility for administering the BPR.

The BPR is a source of information about evidence-based programs; expert and consensus statements; and programs, practices, and policies whose content has been reviewed according to specific standards. Its purpose is to identify, review, and disseminate information about best practices that address specific objectives of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.

In essence, the BPR is three registries in one. It has three sections, each of which includes different types of practices reviewed according to criteria specific to that section. The three sections are: I: Evidence-Based Programs, II: Expert and Consensus Statements, and III: Adherence to Standards. The sections do not represent "levels" of effectiveness. Fact sheets describing the approved programs and how to access the materials are posted on the BPR website. The BPR is not a comprehensive inventory of all suicide prevention initiatives, but a descriptive listing of reviewed programs. A brief description of the three sections can be found here.

The SPRC/AFSP Evidence-Based Practices Project (EBPP) was a prior effort to identify and disseminate information about evidence-based suicide prevention programs. The EBPP stopped conducting reviews in 2005, when SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP) began reviewing and listing suicide-related interventions. However, all of the programs identified by the EBPP continue to be included in Section I of the BPR (note that most programs previously identified by the EBPP are now also listed in NREPP.) For more information about the EBPP, see the EBPP Project Description and a List of Programs Identified by the EBPP.

While NREPP operates independently of the BPR, all suicide-related interventions listed by NREPP are also included in Section I of the BPR. NREPP reviews evaluated interventions and provides ratings describing (a) the quality of the research supporting the reported results and (b) the intervention's readiness for dissemination. The BPR is not linked to any other evidence-based registries. For more information about NREPP, see Section  I.

Not necessarily. Only Section I: Evidence-Based Programs have been evaluated and are included based upon their ability to produce positive outcomesrelated to suicide prevention. Section III: Adherence to Standards lists programs and practices whose contentmeets current standards in the field (the Section III review process does not examine outcomes.) Unlike the other two sections, Section II Expert and Consensus Statements does not list programs or practices, but instead consists of general recommendations and guidelines that practitioners can use while developing programs. These recommendations and guidelines are based on the best available research and expertise in the field.

Some funders may require applicants to choose among programs listed on a particular registry or list when applying for particular grants. Check the requirements for individual grant solicitations to determine whether the funder has included this type of requirement. 

To find the listings for a specific section, select the tab marked Section I, Section II, or Section IIIat the top of any page and click “View Program Listings” just below the section name (or simply scroll to the bottom of the page.) Use the Search feature to search the combined listings from all three sections.

 

 First, since the BPR is not a comprehensive listing of all programs, a literature search may yield population- or setting-specific programs. Adapting a program is also an option; however, revisions should be done thoughtfully to ensure that key intervention ingredients are not lost. Resources about “program fidelity and adaptation” can be helpful in guiding these types of program revisions. For more discussion about using the BPR to plan effective prevention programs, see Advice on Using the BPR.

 

The BPR has two sections that may be helpful. Advice on using the BPR provides information about using the BPR within the context of a systematic planning process. Resources related to Section III criteria lists links and resources for developing suicide prevention content that is accurate, likely to meet objectives, and consistent with programmatic and messaging standards in the field. In addition, the "Taking Action" section of SPRC's website includes key links and resources for developing, implementing, and evaluating suicide prevention programs. Also see SPRC’s Online Library for extensive suicide prevention resources organized by topic.
 

Each section uses specific review criteria. To be added to Section I, programs must be reviewed by NREPP and meet NREPP’s criteria. The criteria for Section II (Expert and Consensus Statements) include importance, likelihood of meeting objectives, accuracy of content, safety, congruence with prevailing knowledge, and appropriateness of the development process. The criteria for Section III (Adherence to Standards) include items related to accuracy, likelihood of meeting objectives, and adherence to messaging and program design standards. For additional detailed information about the Section III criteria, see the Section III Application Guidelines (PDF).
 

The reviewers differ by section.  To be added to Section I (Evidence-Based Programs), programs are reviewed by NREPP, which operates independently of the BPR and uses reviewers selected by NREPP staff according to specified qualifications and requirements. SPRC staff members manage the review process for Sections II and III of the BPR. Each program or practice included in Sections II and III is reviewed by three expert reviewers who have advanced degrees and/or relevant clinical, research, or programmatic experience in the field of suicide prevention. When possible, programs are reviewed by experts with specific expertise in that area (e.g., an emergency room physician would review an emergency room protocol). For more information about the review process, see How to Apply.
 

Yes! One of our guiding assumptions states that successful dissemination of best practices is facilitated when program developers, evaluators, and SPRC/AFSP staff members work collaboratively. We encourage you to contact us for assistance in deciding whether your program or materials are appropriate for submission to NREPP or the BPR. We can also provide technical assistance for program developers wishing to submit their program for NREPP and/or BPR review. Please contact Sarah Bernes.
 

NREPP submissions must be made directly to SAMHSA during an open submission period, which typically begin in October and last 3 or 4 months. Each year’s open submission dates are announced on the NREPP Web site and in the Federal Register. For more information on the NREPP submission process, see How to Apply to Section I.
 

Please see How to Apply for information about submitting materials for review for Sections II and III.
 

Section I applications are submitted directly to NREPP and follow their review process. Upon receiving an application for Sections II or III, BPR coordinator Sarah Bernes will review it for appropriateness and completeness. Based upon this initial review, she may request additional information. The application materials are then sent to three experts for review and scoring. After receiving reviewer comments and resolving any discrepancies among reviewers, the BPR coordinator will provide applicants with a summary of review results. For practices that did not meet BPR criteria, feedback to applicants will explain why the standards were not met and provide suggestions for addressing reviewer concerns. In many cases, changes to materials will qualify a practice for inclusion in the BPR with no further external review, while other practices may undergo a second round of review. After approval, applicants will be asked to approve the program fact sheet prior to posting.
 

  1.  Several factors influence the total time from BPR submission to posting of fact sheets for approved programs, including the number of practices waiting to be reviewed, external reviewers' schedules, the results of the review process, and program developers’ schedules. After the initial submission, program developers can expect to hear within two weeks whether additional materials are required for review. Occasionally, applicants will be notified that there is a waiting list to begin new reviews because of the number of programs already under review. Once the external review process begins, the process averages about three months; however, if any of the steps requires additional time, the total review time may be longer. For example, there may be unforeseen delays in receiving comments from the external reviewers, and in some instances, applicants wish to take additional time to make revisions based on reviewer comments. The BPR coordinator will make every effort to move submissions through the review process in a timely manner and to communicate with applicants about unexpected delays.

Each BPR listing includes information about where to obtain program materials, any related costs, and contact information for the program developer, expert, or agency.