It's time to talk about it:Utilizing a community-based research approach to develop a family guide for youth suicide prevention.
Utilizing principles from family-driven care and community-based research, community members and researchers collaborated to uncover the experiences, perceptions, and needs of families whose children had been impacted by mental illness and suicide. Using a flexible and iterative process involving in-depth qualitative interviews, four themes emerged: (a) the need for greater awareness about youth suicide; (b) the need to provide clear and direct steps to obtain help for at-risk youths; (c) the need to learn how to locate and access resources to seek help and overcome barriers to care; and (d) the importance of involving and empowering families to get involved in the design and increased utilization of treatment services and suicide prevention efforts. Further thematic content analysis revealed specific content areas that served as the foundation for the creation of a family-focused guide on youth suicide prevention. Preliminary findings with community stakeholders suggest that the family guide, It’s Time to Talk About it, is a useful and motivational resource that enhances awareness on how to prevent youth suicide and how families can become more involved in treatment and advocacy efforts. This paper provides an example of how to engage and partner with community participants throughout the stages of planning, developing, implementing, and disseminating a community-based suicide prevention effort.