Year: 2023 Source: JMIR Research Protocols. (2023). 12, e39978. doi: 10.2196/39978. SIEC No: 20231319

Background: Roots of Hope (RoH) is a multisite Canadian community-based suicide prevention initiative developed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), which is based on evidence for intervention effectiveness  and World Health Organization recommendations. Seven communities developed local activities in the following 5 pillars: specialized supports, training and networks, public awareness, means safety, and evaluation research.
Objective: We aim to use an implementation research approach to understand the RoH model for reducing suicidal behaviors and their impacts in communities, and the lessons learned for the equitable development and  implementation of RoH in different contexts. Moreover, we want to understand how the program is implemented in relation to the context, the causal pathways, and the factors influencing successful implementation. The evaluation  includes assessments of short-term and intermediate effects at each site and overall.
Methods: The principal investigator (PI) developed a consensus among local research coordinators on common approaches and indicators through ongoing participation in an online community of practice, and regular virtual and  in-person meetings. At the completion of the pilot phase, the PI will summarize evaluation results across sites and conduct pooled analyses. The RoH theory of change and evaluation model shows how evaluation activities from the  planning phase through the implementation of activities in each of the pillars can help clarify the viability of the RoH model and identify factors that facilitate and inhibit effective and equitable implementation in different contexts.  Beginning with a situational analysis to identify resources in each community and local specificities, we will examine the implementation characteristics of conformity, dosage, coverage, quality, utility, equity, appreciation,  facilitators, and impediments. Evaluation of short-term effects will focus on changes in knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, help-seeking, service use, stigma, media reports, empowerment, and care experiences. Intermediate effects,
long-term effects, and impact will include assessments of the changes in suicides, suicide attempt rates, and suicide risk indicators.
A variety of data sources, both quantitative and qualitative, will be used.
Results: The quantitative and qualitative data from all sites will be summarized by the PI in March 2023 to draw conclusions to help the MHCC in its improvements to the RoH model, and to inform communities about how to better  implement RoH. Since the COVID-19 pandemic occurred at the beginning of program implementation, its impact and influence will be documented. The validity of RoH in contributing to the prevention of suicides and suicidal  behaviors will be clarified in a variety of contexts. The final evaluation report will be available in September 2023.
Conclusions: The evaluation results, including the identification of factors that facilitate and inhibit the implementation of RoH and the adaptations to challenges, will be useful to the MHCC, current RoH communities, and those  considering adopting the RoH model.