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Collecting Data for Suicide Prevention Programs

Once evaluation measures have been selected, rural suicide prevention programs should develop a plan for collecting the data. Data collection methods will depend on the type of data used in the evaluation. Often, programs can rely on administrative data through program records or electronic medical records. For example, programs can track participation, numbers of screenings delivered, screening results, treatment adherence, and insurance billing with administrative records. For other measures such as program satisfaction, knowledge transfer, and confidence, data collection tools such as surveys or interview protocols must be developed. Some outcome data, such as suicide and suicide attempts, typically require external databases such as Vital Records and hospital discharge records. In many cases, a combination of qualitative and quantitative data are used to provide a complete picture of the implementation and impact of a program. Because of their connection, reach, and unique vantage point, partners and other program collaborators can contribute data sources or other assets to support a program’s ability to collect high-quality data and conduct effective evaluation.

Resources to Learn More

Core Competency: Data and Surveillance
Offers suggestions about the types of data to be included in a suicide prevention evaluation plan, and how to collect that data.
Organization(s): Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)