COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT - Recommendation from Dr. Philippe Rey:
Communities are in the best position to assess local needs and resources, identify gaps, and make decisions about suicide prevention activities. The following questions can be used to identify local resources and to assess the gaps in services that should be addressed. Answering these questions are helping guide our short and long term prevention plans:
What public education has occurred in the community to increase awareness of youth suicide warning signs, intervention approaches, and local resources for help?
Do youth and young adults in and out of school receive any suicide prevention education in school and community settings? If so, when, where, what?
What percentage of community members understand the role of firearms in youth suicide? What percentage of community members own firearms? What percentage of community members store them safely?
Have all schools and school districts in the community created and implemented a safe schools plan that protects students from harassment and violence through the establishment and enforcement of school norms of tolerance and mutual respect?
Have the local media been educated about the appropriate reporting of suicide? If so, who, by whom, when, what education?
Is training on suicide awareness, prevention, and intervention provided to educate professionals who work with youth and families? If so, who, what, when?
How many community members are trained in youth suicide intervention skills (gatekeeper training) and prepared to intervene with youth at high risk for suicidal behavior?
Is there any kind of identification, screening, and referral of high-risk youth for suicidal ideation or behavior? Where is this done? Who does the screening? What screening tools are used? Where are the youth referred? What is the community’s capacity for serving referred youth (hospitals, schools, mental health centers, private mental health practitioners, doctors, etc.)?
How do youth and young adults get information about access to the community 24-hour crisis line? How is the crisis line accessed? What is the response time? hours of operation? gaps in service? Are crisis service providers in the community trained in suicide prevention? Are they integrated into community-wide suicide prevention efforts? Do crisis services meet American Association of Suicidology certification?
Does your community have a crisis response team with school and community professionals that coordinate the utilization of local resources in response to youth suicide? If so, what is the membership of this team?