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Program Adaptability for Suicide Prevention Programs

While it is important to be clear about the rural suicide prevention program's overall vision, goals, and desired outcomes, some flexibility may be needed. Needs of communities can change as populations and societal trends change, and it is important for suicide prevention programs to be flexible in their approach to meet these changing needs.

For rural suicide prevention specifically, this may mean shifting the focus to particular sub-groups of the population or quickly responding to an unexpected suicide death in the community. Programs may also need to adapt based on availability of other suicide prevention resources and personnel in the community, such as mental health providers, who are key to many suicide prevention programs. If there is a sudden increase or decrease in providers, the program may need to adapt accordingly.

Programs may also need to be flexible to meet new funding requirements or adapt to the changing needs of community partners. For example, community partners may need to respond to emerging health issues or changing demographics within the community.

Resources to Learn More

The OAH Framework for Program Sustainability
Provides a framework for program sustainability supported by research and on-the-ground experiences with a focus on adolescent health programs and services.
Organization(s): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Adolescent Health (OAH)
Date: 11/2017