The engaged community action for preventing suicide (ECAPS) model in Latin America: development of the ¡PEDIR! program
Purpose It is estimated that someone dies by suicide every 40 s globally and that 3000 people end their lives daily. Of these deaths, 79% occur in low-resource settings. The very nature of the low-resource settings often serves as a barrier to the adoption and implementation of evidence-based suicide prevention models that have demonstrated success in high-resource countries. As such rates of suicide continue to increase, the workforce of trained mental health providers equipped to effectively engage, assess, and treat individuals struggling with suicidal thoughts and behaviors remains relatively stagnant. This paper aims to illustrate the implementation of the Engaged Community Action for Preventing Suicide (ECAPS) model as a means of developing a culturally relevant and responsive model of suicide prevention that is acceptable and sustainable in low-resource settings. Methods University faculty and staff (n=34) and psychology students (n=25), and community-based mental health providers (n=41) providing mental health services to at-risk individuals in highly vulnerable communities in Lima, Peru participated in the implementation of ECAPS process. Results The resulting program, ¡PEDIR!, demonstrates the acceptability, feasibility, and effectiveness of the ECAPS model. Conclusion The ECAPS model is a feasible and effective framework for use in low-resource settings to guide the development of a culturally relevant community-level intervention to address the systemic, societal, and individual level factors that serve as barriers to suicide prevention.