Module 4 > Understanding the technical package > How states and localities have leveraged the technical package

The following short interview clips illustrate how states and municipalities can incorporate the technical package when planning for suicide prevention.

County-level video spotlight

Interview with Mego Lien, Prevention Services Division Manager, Behavioral Health Services Department of Santa Clara County

In this video interview, Mego Lien shares how Santa Clara County, California has used the technical package and how the suicide prevention program has adapted its strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Key learnings Mego shares include:

  • Suicide and suicide prevention are complex and require us to work collaboratively on a wide range of strategies.

  • The CDC’s suicide prevention technical package helps communities understand best available research and apply fundamental public health models.

  • The ability to adapt strategies during catastrophic events depends on the relationships and efforts in place beforehand.

  • Recognizing how risk and protective factors for suicide are impacted by a catastrophic event can help in adapting strategies and being responsive to a given context.

State-level video spotlight

Interview with Sarah Brummett, Office of Suicide Prevention Director, Prevention Services Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment

In this video interview, Sarah Brummett shares how Colorado’s state infrastructure for suicide prevention has allowed for focused attention on addressing the issue, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Key learnings Sarah shares include:

  • The CDC’s suicide prevention technical package can be used to cross-check local identified and prioritized strategies and make the case to partners that there is research backing specific prevention strategies. 

  • State government has an important role to play in braiding and blending funds to invest in local communities and support comprehensive suicide prevention across the prevention continuum, including upstream factors like community connectedness and economic stability.

  • Dedicated staffing and strong community engagement before catastrophic events creates a safety net that can respond during catastrophic events like COVID-19. 

  • Suicide prevention practitioners do not need to become experts on upstream factors like economic stability, but rather build partnerships, coordinate, and amplify efforts to address issues like food security, affordable housing, access to quality and affordable childcare, liveable wages, etc.

Reflection questions 

  • What strategies and approaches in the suicide prevention technical package were discussed in the interviews?

  • Which parts of the interviews surprised you? 

  • What are themes and differences in how the locales approach suicide prevention?


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