Suicide Prevention Initiatives
This aim focuses on transforming mental health delivery systems into family-focused and family-driven systems. Studies have shown the importance of family-driven care, given that family connectedness and support appear to be vital protective factors in reducing the risk of adolescent depression and suicidal ideation. To involve families in the conversation, this aim was approached from the perspective of community-based participatory research, meaning that a resource cannot be created without input from the population for which the resource is for. Using this approach to increase family involvement, the following resource and training were created:
A 22-page, easy-to-read booklet aimed at raising awareness on ways to educate families on warning signs, risk factors, and protective factors related to suicide; steps to help families receive support and help for their suicidal youth; strategies to help families promote protective factors and emotional well-being; strategies to help families establish partnerships with professionals; and ways to help families become suicide prevention advocates and champions in their communities. To date, this guide has been widely disseminated throughout the State of Florida, nationally, and in Australia. Over 20,000 copies have been distributed to parents, families, and helping professionals.
An interactive workshop based on the It's Time to Talk about It Family Guide. This training emphasizes family empowerment, communication, validation, and coping/problem-solving skills. The training also teaches family members about the warning signs, risk factors, and protective factors of suicide in an attempt to promote resilient behaviors and strategies for creating a safety net.