Step 4: Select or Develop Interventions

When selecting the activity or set of activities that you want to implement, remember to confirm that your activities will work, and make sure to plan your activities in advance. These steps are outlined in more detail below.  

For repositories and lists of suicide prevention activities, go to finding programs and practices. For a more comprehensive discussion of Step 4, visit SPRC’s online course A Strategic Planning Approach to Suicide Prevention.  

Confirm Your Activities Will Work

Step 1, Step 2, and Step 3 of this strategic planning process can help you identify needs and gaps in services, specific long-term goals, and related risk and protective factors. You can use this information to help you select the activity or set of activities you wish to implement.

Only certain prevention activities will effectively address your goals and target the risk and protective factors you selected. Choosing an appropriate activity takes time and consideration.  

Before you start planning an activity, make sure that it is likely to reduce the risk factors or promote the protective factors you selected and can therefore help to achieve your long-term goal(s).

You can use a logic model to confirm that the activities you select are likely to achieve the outcomes you want.

A logic model is a useful tool for connecting the risk and protective factors you want to address with the activities you select. You can use a logic model to confirm that the activities you select are likely to achieve the outcomes you want. It can also be used to plan your evaluation and demonstrate to stakeholders and funders how your proposed activities will produce a change.

A logic model answers the question “Why do you think the intervention will work?”

Although there is no single “correct” format for a logic model, they do typically have the following components:

Interventions

  • Activities – Lists the main activities that will be completed
  • Results of Activities – Provides details and evidence of what will occur when the activities are implemented

Outcomes

  • Changes in Risk and Protective Factors – Articulates the changes in risk and protective factors that will occur from successful implementation of the activities
  • Long-Term Goals – Identifies changes in the overall problem and progress toward your long-term goal(s)

logic model

Plan Your Activities in Advance

Once you have confirmed that the activity you chose will achieve the outcomes you want, consider how to roll out the activities.

If you don’t know exactly how to implement the activity, particularly if it involves working with another agency or organization, the first task could involve engaging the other group in preliminary conversations to determine how to collaborate and implement the activity most effectively.

It can also be very helpful to create an action plan. An action plan is a detailed step-by-step description of what must be done to implement the activities described in the logic model. It usually includes the following:

  • Task – A list of tasks and subtasks in the order in which they must be completed. You may also want to include objectives for each task and resources needed.
  • People – The person/people with primary responsibility for overseeing each task. You may also want to include others involved in each task as well as those who should be informed about the task.
  • Timeline – Timelines and target dates for each task.

In some cases, the process of choosing and planning an activity, as well as working with one or more organizations or groups, may prompt you to refine your goal(s).