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Suicide -- Prevention -- Government policy -- Oregon, Suicide -- Social aspects -- Oregon, Youth -- Oregon -- Suicidal behavior, Oregon Community Collaboration Initiative, Teenagers -- Suicidal behavior -- Oregon, Firearms -- Safety measures -- Oregon


Aims: This session has three primary aims: (1) to inform state public health and behavioral health leaders of the state of Oregon’s plan for supporting local Zero Suicide infrastructure development; (2) to educate state and local leaders about the different approaches local jurisdictions have taken in their ZS efforts; and (3) to introduce leaders and practitioners to an online firearm safety toolkit that incorporates research-based skills for addressing firearm safety in a culturally competent manner with rural suicidal patients.

Methods - Content/ Knowledge/ Skills: The session will enhance participants’ knowledge of state and local models for implementing Zero Suicide. Content will include an overview of the State’s vision for Zero Suicide and how Garrett Lee Smith state funds were leveraged to support local efforts. Highlights of each local jurisdictions priorities and approaches will be shared as well successes, barriers to overcome and lessons learned. Additionally, the presentation will introduce the state’s Zero Suicide website, complete with implementation tools created by local Oregon communities to aid their implementation of Zero Suicide and shared in hopes that these tools might be of assistance to others. These practical, user-friendly tools are organized around Getting Started with Zero Suicide, Assessment and Evaluation, Training, Implementation, and Podcasts which feature interviews with local innovators and their approach to distinct aspects of Zero Suicide. The presentation will also share a tool for assessing implementation of Zero Suicide for planning and evaluation purposes. The tool was developed by GLS Youth Suicide Prevention grant evaluators at Portland State University to monitor and provide results-based state-wide and local summative and formative data.

The final component of this presentation will be an overview of the firearm safety research conducted by colleagues at Oregon State University – Cascades with rural firearm owners and the application of this research to communication tools and online training for primary care and behavioral health providers. An article based on this research that was published in the Archives of Suicide Research was just awarded by that journal, best article published in 2018.

This part of the session will (1) describe the mixed methods approach used to collect data locally and nationally, (2) share results that suggest standard public health messaging about suicide and risk is ineffective for increasing the willingness of rural, suicidal firearm-owning populations to give up access to firearms, (3) share specific research-based communication skills that increase the likelihood of a rural, suicidal firearm owner’s willingness to engage in discourse about limiting access to firearms, and (4) introduce the state’s web-based firearm safety toolkit, which includes communication tools for firearm owners and providers, as well as an online course on how to discuss firearm safety with suicidal patients that can be taken for continuing medical education units.


Presented at the AAS20: American Association of Suicidology Conference. Portland, OR.

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