Core Competency: Infrastructure Development

Infrastructure development involves creating and maintaining a concrete, practical foundation to support the successful implementation of suicide prevention initiatives—both during the grant years and at the end of the funding period. Infrastructure building includes both internal work and work with partners to develop policies and protocols, build capacity, and strengthen partnerships and linkages.  

Many grant programs have started their infrastructure efforts with a focus on crisis response, developing protocols to link agencies in a shared response, and formalizing a referral network for the community. Others have extended their infrastructure work to include new policies and protocols around staff training and responsibilities, passing new legislation to mandate such efforts, and formalizing linkages with agencies or organizations working on related health issues.  

To build a lasting infrastructure, partner groups, departments, or agencies should develop policies and procedures aimed at embedding suicide prevention into their ongoing work so that ownership and responsibility are shared broadly across the community. 

Core Competencies

  • You develop and implement guidelines, policies, and protocols that support suicide prevention. 
  • You develop suicide crisis response protocols and disseminate them to stakeholders. 
  • You work to embed suicide prevention policies, knowledge, skills, instruction, and tools in partner organizations, departments, or agencies. 
  • You develop and institutionalize referral networks. 

How Your SPRC Prevention Specialist Can Help

Your Prevention Specialist can: 

  • Help you identify and partner with key local agencies and organizations for crisis response planning 
  • Advise partner agencies and organizations on the content of policies and trainings for their settings 
  • Assist with establishing formal agreements with project partners, including choosing language and formats that work well for all parties 
  • Support you in establishing referral networks and protocols before initiating gatekeeper trainings and/or screening efforts and in overcoming barriers to institutionalizing referral networks (e.g., difficulty filling provider positions for those networks) 
  • Brainstorm with you on how to involve new partners in suicide prevention efforts