How to Develop Broad-Based Support for a Shared Vision

Suicide prevention efforts need one or two people who take responsibility for a large amount of the coordination, communication, and recruitment that is necessary to pull together the people and tasks involved. But efforts are more likely to succeed if they are built on a foundation of support from a wide range of people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlights this as one of its five components of a comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention. In your group of supporters, it is especially important to include people from groups with higher suicide rates who can provide key insights and input. It is also important to include people who support suicide prevention at the local and state levels.

How can you get all of these people to connect and work together on suicide prevention programs, practices, and policies over the long term? Suicide prevention efforts are most effective when everyone working on them shares the same vision and a single agenda and connects this vision with both state and national suicide prevention plans. Read on for key steps to help you develop the Unity element.

There are three key areas for achieving the Unity element:

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The Colorado National Collaborative has brought together partners from 15 counties to develop, implement, and sustain a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention across their communities. The diverse group of committed partners has fueled the Collaborative’s efforts to develop all seven elements promoted in the Action Alliance’s Transforming Community’s report.

– Jarrod Hindman, MS, Chief Operating Officer, Sources of Strength