Suicide Prevention Program Community Advisory Board Application Information

The Community Advisory Board (CAB) is an advisory bod upy to the Suicide Prevention Program (SPP) within the Division of Violence and Injury Prevention at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

CAB Background

Community members with lived experience with suicide are essential to the development and enhancement of SPP programs and services. The SPP currently does not have a formal mechanism to receive feedback about our funded services from people who receive those services. The MDPH Bureau of Substance Abuse Services and the MDPH Office of HIV/AIDS operate long-standing, successful Community Advisory Boards, which have positively informed their programs and services to better serve their clients and guide their work in a more client and community-centered way. 

CAB Mission

The mission of the Suicide Prevention Program Community Advisory Board (CAB) is to provide a mechanism for community members (hereafter referred to as stakeholders) to have meaningful input into the development of services, programs, and policies that address their needs. The CAB seeks to support the creation of comprehensive, community-based suicide prevention, intervention, and support services that are accessible, inclusive, responsive, and of high quality, and one that supports the adage, “Nothing about us without us.”

CAB Goals

Community members are well positioned to assess the quality, appropriateness, and effectiveness of funded services. In the pursuit of this mission, the CAB has the following goals:

  • To provide stakeholder input to the development, implementation, and enhancement of Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) Suicide Prevention Program services, policies, and community-based providers 
  • To act as liaison between stakeholders, the MDPH SPP, and service providers
  • To educate and bring together stakeholders through a variety of activities that support health and well-being and encourage stakeholder involvement
  • To ensure equitable programs and services
  • To participate in at least one CAB subcommittee

CAB Meetings

There will be a total of 10 meetings in fiscal year 2017. Meetings will be held monthly and take place from 6:30-8:30pm. We will ask that CAB members commit to participating in at least 8 out of 10 meetings either in person or by phone (if absolutely necessary). Future meeting locations will be determined based on feasibility and accessibility for CAB members. Dinner will always be provided.


CAB members may be reimbursed for transportation while attending CAB meetings.

CAB Member Responsibilities

In order to ensure that the CAB meets the aforementioned goals, it is important that applicants understand that active membership in the CAB is a year-long commitment including attendance at 8 out of the 10 monthly CAB meetings and active participation in at least one subcommittee. If you are unable to attend a meeting or need to resign from the CAB, it is expected that you notify SPP CAB staff with as much notice as possible.

Sample Questions from the CAB Membership Application

Below are some sample questions from the application for the Massachusetts Suicide Prevention Program Community Advisory Board for the year August 2017 to August 2018. You might want to consider including some or all of them in an application you create.

CAB Table

Used with permission from the Suicide Prevention Program (SPP) within the Division of Violence and Injury Prevention at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.