This section of the toolkit guides you through the stages of community mobilization.
Youth suicide affects the whole community. Shared problems require shared solutions. It’s as simple as that. When creating strategies to tackle issues of a collective concern, all members in a community have something to offer. 1. It’s about a whole community approach.
No two communities are exactly alike. Each community has its own strengths, needs and assets. Getting inspired by and learning from how others have mobilized their community is important. But because your community is unique, you also need to be creative.1.
The community mobilization process
Community mobilization happens when individuals, groups, or organizations come together from across a community to plan, carry out and evaluate activities to address youth suicide. The goal of community mobilization is to build a healthy community, with as little suicide risk as possible. 1 Engagement and buy-in from a variety of community members is the foundation for successful community mobilization. Once community parners have come together, you’ll need to make a plan for addressing suicide, which you’ll eventually implement, evaluate, and sustain. Explore the image below to learn more about the steps to mobilizing your community:2,3,4
Communities That Care (CTC) is a community prevention action model that uses a public health approach to prevent problem behaviors in youth, such as violence, delinquency, school dropout and substance abuse.
The Community Capacity Building and Mobilization in Youth Mental Health Promotion resource discusses how the community of West Carleton in Ontario mobilized around the issue of youth suicide in response to a local crisis.
The Community Toolbox has chapters with tools and resources that can be used to conduct community assessments.
Preventing Youth Suicide: A Guide for Practitioners provides a framework for a comprehensive and community-based youth suicide prevention strategy.
The Suicide Prevention Toolkit, developed by the Oklahoma Youth Suicide Prevention Council, offers an assessment tool intended for use by youth suicide prevention coalitions or organizations.
The Community Development Handbook: A Tool to Build Community Capacity contains valuable information on assessing community readiness and provides information, tools and tips for carrying out community-based initiatives using a community development perspective.
The Thunder Bay community mobilized around youth suicide prevention. This webpage describes their process, which involved a thorough review on youth suicide prevention and gathering input from community members.
Vibrant Communities Canada offers a range of asset mapping tools that can be used to support asset-based community development.
- 1. a. b. c. Austen, P. (2003). Community capacity building and mobilization in youth mental health promotion: The story of the Community of West Carleton. Retrieved from: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/mh-sm/mhp-psm/pub/community-communautaires/pdf/comm-cap-build-mobil-youth.pdf
- 2. Kim-Ju, G., Mark, G.Y., Cohen, R., Garcia-Santiago, O., & Nguyen, P. (2008).Community mobilization and its application to youth violence prevention. American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 34, S5- S12.
- 3. Frank, F., & Smith, A. (1999). The Community Development Handbook: A Tool to Build Community Capacity. Human Resources Development Canada. Retrieved from:https://ccednet-rcdec.ca/en/node/4319
- 4. Southwest Prevention Center. (n.d.). A Framework for Community Mobilization. Retrieved from: http://swpc.ou.edu/doucments/publications/framework.pdf