Finding Programs and Practices
One of the steps in a strategic planning approach to suicide prevention is to find programs and practices that address the risk and protective factors you will be targeting. Program registries and lists are great sources of information on suicide prevention programs and practices.
This page will help you:
- Find sources of programs and practices
- Use these sources effectively
SPRC Best Practices Registry
We’re excited to announce that SPRC’s new Best Practices Registry (BPR) is now accepting applications. The latest BPR is the same one-stop source you know and trust for suicide prevention programs and interventions, guided by a new vision—to increase health equity through expanded access and representation.
- We’re currently seeking applications for programs and interventions that incorporate expert consensus, best practices, and culturally relevant approaches, as well as upstream strategies to prevent suicide risk before it starts.
- Former BPR programs have been moved to this archive.
SAMHSA’s Evidence-Based Practices Resource Center
This resource center contains a collection of science-based resources for a broad range of audiences. The resources include treatment improvement protocols, toolkits, resource guides, clinical practice guidelines, and other resource types. Users can search by topic area, substance, or condition, as well as by resource type, target population (e.g., youth, adult), and target audience (e.g., clinicians, prevention professionals, patients, policymakers). This resource center is especially useful for identifying resources relevant to the effective care and treatment of people with serious mental illness, a population that is at increased risk for suicide.
Other Program Registries and Lists
Many other registries and lists are available, each with its own focus and criteria. The resources below offer many additional sources of information on programs, including programs targeting specific groups and upstream prevention programs:
- SPRC: List of promising prevention practices that are culturally appropriate for American Indian/Alaska Native settings
- National Institutes of Health, Office of Disease Prevention: Links to lists of evidence-based interventions and strategies
- Youth.gov: Links to federally sponsored evidence-based program directories, listed by government department and agency
Be sure to follow the guidance below on how to use program registries and lists. Just because a program appears on an evidence-based registry or other list doesn’t necessarily make it a good suicide prevention program for a particular population or setting!
Using Program Registries and Lists
When looking at existing programs, keep in mind that although a program was shown to be effective in changing one or more outcomes, that doesn’t mean it will work for your population, setting, or goals. Be sure to look for programs that address the risk and protective factors identified in your needs assessment and are the most appropriate for the group(s) you are trying to reach.
Here are some tips for selecting programs:
- Avoid simply “picking from the list.” Program registries and lists are useful tools, but they are not substitutes for thoughtful data-driven strategic planning.
- Start with a needs assessment. Before consulting a registry, conduct a local assessment of the problem, risk and protective factors, and current efforts.
- Understand the registry or list. Examine the definitions, criteria, and evidence ratings used by each registry or list.
- Assess relevance. Look for programs that address the underlying risk and protective factors and the conditions that drive or contribute to suicide in your context.
- Pay attention to outcomes and evidence ratings. For each program you’re considering, examine the outcomes that were evaluated and the strength of the research evidence for each outcome. Use that information to choose approaches with more evidence that is relevant for your population, setting, and goals.
- Consider practical fit. Choose programs that match your population, setting, and culture and that are feasible in terms of capacity, resources, and readiness to act.