Transforming Communities Group


To support implementation of the 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP), the group will focus on first identifying and then disseminating a core set of elements/strategic framework for comprehensive community-based suicide prevention to states and communities.  The group will likely develop a White Paper document with recommendations that will include, but not be limited to:

  • Reviewing the literature and conducting an environmental scan about community-based approaches to suicide prevention and other prevention areas that have been successful in a) helping community groups plan and implement efforts and b) reducing the burden of death and disease at the community level;
  • Exploring existing resources on advancing community prevention efforts (specific and non-specific to suicide) (e.g., new SPRC comprehensive approach, SPRC strategic planning framework, SAMHSA Strategic Planning Framework, CDC Community Health Improvement model, Getting to Outcomes, Collective Impact model, New South Wales Suicide Prevention Framework, etc.);
  • Identifying the key process, infrastructure, and programmatic elements of a comprehensive community-based approach for suicide prevention (e.g., leadership, champion, private sector engagement, local government engagement, evaluating efforts);
  • Maintaining a focus on burden reduction – in other words, suicide is an urgent problem for which we need to focus on the best available evidence to save lives.

In April 2017, the Action Alliance released a resource, Transforming Communities: Key Elements for Comprehensive Community-Based Suicide Prevention, that presents seven key elements for comprehensive community-based suicide prevention, identified via a review of relevant programs, guidance, and models. The elements are key considerations that should guide community-based suicide prevention efforts—aimed at helping communities create policies, programs, and services that reduce suicide and improve individual, family, and community health. They are meant as broad guidance for the field, and can help inform the development of suicide prevention programs and future resources. To learn more, check out the paper as well as listen to an archived webinar that provides an overview of the resource.

  • Bob Gebbia, Private Sector Co-Lead; CEO, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
    (Proxy: Christine Moutier, MD, Chief Medical Officer, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention​)
  • Jim Mercy, Public Sector Co-Lead; Director, Division of Violence Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    (Proxy: Deborah Stone, ScD, MSW, MPH, Behavioral Scientist, Division of Violence Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) 
  • Jerry Reed, PhD, MSW, Private Sector Co-Lead; Director, Center for the Study and Prevention for Injury, Violence, and Suicide, EDC
    (Proxy: Elly Stout, Director of Grantee and State Initiatives, Suicide Prevention Resource Center, EDC)
  • Doreen Bird, Senior Tribal Prevention Specialist, Suicide Prevention Resource Center, EDC
  • Heidi Bryan, Founder, Feeling Blue Suicide Prevention Council and Heidi Bryan Consulting, LLC
  • Gigi Colombini, LMSW, Psychotherapist - Suicide Prevention Specialist, G. Colombini Counseling, PLLC
  • John Harrison, Sr., DM, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, Special Assistant to the Chairman and CEO, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America
  • Elaine deMello, Training & Services Manager, Connect Suicide Prevention Project, NAMI New Hampshire
  • Jarrod Hindman, MS, Director, Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment
  • Heather Stokes, LCSW, Vice President, LivingWorks Education, Inc.
  • Melanie Ruhe, MPH, Program Analyst, National Association of County and City Health Officials
  • Ann Marie White, EdD, Director, Office of Mental Health Promotion, University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Eileen Zeller, MPH, Lead Public Health Advisor, Center for Mental Health Services, Division of Prevention, Traumatic Stress and Special Programs, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration