Skip to main content

Suicide Prevention Program Acceptability

A key consideration for developing suicide prevention programs is ensuring that the program is accepted by the community it serves. This means being sensitive to trauma experienced by a community following a suicide and being mindful of how to approach the difficult topic of suicide. Stigma around mental health and suicide may also be a significant barrier to overcome in creating a program that is accepted. As a result, it may be important to start with education and awareness programs before implementing other models.

Additionally, programs should consider timing, whether the community is ready to address the issue of suicide. A tragedy like suicide can be grounds for a call to action, but the community may also need time to heal before taking action.

In considering issues of acceptability, programs should be designed with the target audience and community in mind. Different audiences may require different types of approaches. For example, a study found that school superintendents were more receptive to implementing a staff training program than to implementing a suicide prevention screening program. Considering stigma, timing, and audience are keys to gaining acceptance of programs among rural communities.