Examining faith-based collaboration in U.S. states’ suicide prevention guidelines
Kopacz, M.S., Nieuwsma, J.A., Wortmann, J.H., Reyes, I.L.B., & Meador, K.G.
Faith-based communities (FBCs) are recognized by most states as key players within systematic suicide prevention efforts. The aim of the present study was to conduct a thematic analysis of documents that detail the suicide prevention efforts of individual states with respect to the role(s) delegated to FBCs. Thematic analysis is recognized as a useful methodology for identifying implications for policy and practice. Documents were procured from all states, with the exception of New Mexico (n = 49). The findings suggest six areas relevant to collaboration with FBCs: suicide prevention training for the FBC, suicide prevention training for individual faith leaders, community engagement, faith leaders as gatekeepers, culturally sensitive suicide prevention, and postvention support. These state guideline documents consistently affirm the importance of engaging FBCs in suicide prevention efforts and cover a range of recommendations, though generally lack specifics with respect to how FBCs can optimally engage.