Promoting Community Conversations About Research to End Suicide: Building ‘Communities of Practice’ for Research-Informed, Community-led Action.

Join your peers to learn about and discuss the evaluation of an intervention designed to guide community members in the use of research evidence for suicide prevention actions. Dr. Lisa Wexler, Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan and her team, Josie Garnie, Diane McEachern, and Tara Schmidt will share the research findings and lead a group discussion about the program evaluation.

When: Friday April 14, 1-2:30 pm EST

Where: Online, register here

In this presentation, the PC CARES team will describe the underlying theory and evaluation outcomes of Promoting Community Conversations About Research to End Suicide (PC CARES). PC CARES is a community intervention that aims to engage multiple sectors of the community in learning about and using scientific research to guide their self-determined prevention actions. It utilizes a training of trainers approach to widen the scope of suicide prevention by sharing evidence-based universal and selective prevention strategies with natural supporters who are part of the cultural and community context. These family/friends, school personnel, and community workers develop a ‘community of practice’ through a series of learning circles. These community- and family- based community members can help improve youth mental health, increase help-seeking, reduce suicide risk, and avert a suicide crisis or death by implementing evidence-based practices (EBPs) on their own terms and in their homes, schools, and community. Adapted by these natural helpers in real time, scientific best practices are tailored to be culturally- and locally- responsive, and can reduce the likelihood of suicide crises and death. Undergoing rigorous study, the team has documented participants’ self-perceptions and actions before, during and after the intervention. The evaluation research also shows a diffusion effect with people ‘close to’ participants also enacting more prevention strategies when compared to others in the community.

At least 40 minutes of the KTE-COP event will be devoted to discussion about the program and evaluation outcomes.

Participants can expect to learn to:

  • Identify key gaps in the literature about implementation of prevention interventions in community setting.
  • Describe underlying prevention and critical education theories that support community-led, research informed implementation approaches.
  • Understand the value of community-engaged and participatory implementation processes for addressing health inequities with examples from remote Alaska Native communities.
  • Consider the antiracist implications of power-sharing processes in knowledge development and implementation activities.
  • Define potential areas of tension and response when engaging in community-based and participatory research

Lisa Wexler is a Professor of Social Work and an Institute of Social Research Professor at the University of Michigan. Her federally-funded, participatory research program work with community partners to learn, reflect and mobilize to reduce suicide risk and promote youth wellness. Her program of research aims to (1) translate research into strategic, self-determined community action; (2) describe and amplify sources of strength in Indigenous communities; (3) develop practical multilevel approaches to reduce youth suicide risk across the prevention spectrum, and (4) work within health systems to provide strength-based support and care.

The event will be held on Zoom. Please register:

For additional information please contact Sara Macdonald, KTE COP organizing committee member at