Methods: RPP stakeholders utilized an iterative approach to design a 13-question electronic survey organized into three domains: (a) status of current suicide-related programming, (b) suicide prevention attitudes, barriers, and supports, and (c) level of interest for RPP collaboration. Using the RPP network, the survey was disseminated to all Oregon public schools (N = 1,251) using the listservs of school administrators, counselors, and nurses. Data linkage strategies were then used to connect survey responses to two external datasets (i.e., Oregon Department of Education Report Cards, Oregon Office of Rural Health Rural Classifications) for richer demographic based analyses.
Results: Findings revealed a wide variance in suicide prevention efforts across schools in the areas of evidence-based program implementation, suicide prevention comfort level, and access to a postvention plan. The Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) was the most frequently reported (n = 144) program in use. Of the schools that responded (N = 434), the vast majority (n = 305) indicated an interest in future RPP collaboration.
Discussion: The results from the environmental scan conducted by UO prevention scientists help elucidate what the current landscape of suicide prevention resembles in Oregon public schools. Additionally, the UO evaluation team is designing a suicide prevention school response system that will provide schools a customized package of resources, strategies, and guidelines based on the individual school’s staff knowledge, comfort, and implementation experience with suicide prevention programs.