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Dissemination Methods for Suicide Prevention Programs

After determining the appropriate audience(s) for dissemination, many methods can be used to share findings and successes of a rural suicide prevention program.

Some methods of dissemination for suicide prevention programs include:

  • Sharing information through the organization's website or on social media
  • Creating and distributing program materials such as flyers, posters, and promotional giveaways
  • Creating public service announcements for television, radio, and print media about how to recognize signs of suicide and how to respond
  • Participating in local festivals or events
  • Identifying individuals and groups that can serve as a respected voice within a community and having them help spread the program's message (for example, tribal leaders, gun shop owners, local elected officials)
  • Publishing program or policy briefs
  • Submitting articles or press releases to local newspapers
  • Presenting at regional or national conferences, including:

It is important to develop and tailor messages for specific audiences, and to think about who would be most effective at delivering that message. For example, discussing access to firearms in a community where gun ownership is a common part of the culture can be poorly received if conveyed in the wrong way or delivered by the wrong person. A successful message might focus on safe storage and removal and be delivered by a member of the gun-owning community or a gun shop owner, for example.

Developing a dissemination plan in advance can ensure messages have the greatest impact. Messages should follow safe messaging guidelines for suicide prevention. Partnering with local, state, regional, or national collaborators with a broad reach and established voice in the suicide prevention field — such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) or the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) — will help amplify the program's message and expand the program's reach when disseminating results.

Resources to Learn More

Quick-Start Guide to Dissemination for Practice-Based Research Networks
Provides an overview of how to develop and implement a plan for disseminating research-based information. Discusses analyzing targeted audience and stakeholders, defining key messages, methods and timing for distributing information, and evaluating progress of the dissemination plan.
Organization: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRN)
Date: 6/2014