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Florida Suicide Prevention Implementation Guide


Suicide prevention is a complex endeavor for several reasons. First, the problem is pervasive and not limited to a specific demographic. Second, communities which are addressing seemingly more pressing problems, such as homicide, must be mobilized to take actions relating to suicide prevention. Third, although there are evidence-based practices to prevent suicide, there is no singular, accepted model at the practice level. Fourth, mobilized communities find that implementation is a decidedly complex endeavor, more complex than the policies, programs, procedures, techniques, or technologies that are the subject of the implementation efforts.

Implementation is defined as a specified set of activities designed to put into practice an activity, initiative, or program of known dimensions known or thought to reduce the risk of suicide. Research into the science of implementation confirms that systematic implementation practices are essential to any attempt to use the products of science - such as evidence-based programs - to improve the lives of its citizens. (Source: National Implementation Resource Network.)

The Florida Suicide Prevention Implementation Guide was adapted from the National Implementation Resource Network’s a best practice for implementing evidence-based practices.1 The process is not exhaustive or rigid. It is intended to guide the community in mobilizing others for action and in reaching a full and complete implementation. Only when effective practices and programs are fully implemented should we expect positive outcomes.2

Implementation need not be lengthy or formal but should address each of the eight steps listed below to some extent. Skipping a step entirely may result in an incomplete, ineffective, or short-lived implementation. One might argue that one-time only activities, such as media events, would not require the entire implementation process. However, for any activity, a community would want to consider how effective the activity was (evaluation), identify what could have been done better (innovation), and decide if the activity is worth repeating (sustainability).

The 8 steps to implementation are as follows

  1. Problem Identification
  2. Exploration & Engagement
  3. Community Planning
  4. Initial Implementation
  5. Full Operation
  6. Evaluation
  7. Innovation
  8. Sustainability

  1. Fixsen, D. L., Naoom, S. F., Blase, K. A., Friedman, R. M. & Wallace, F. (2005). Implementation Research: A Synthesis of the Literature. Tampa, FL: University of South Florida, Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, The National Implementation Research Network (FMHI Publication #231).
  2. Bernfeld, 2001; Fixsen & Blase, 1993; Institute of Medicine, 2001; Washington State Institute for Public Policy, 2002.