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    Introduction

    This is where you’ll start making sense of all the information you collected in the previous step to identify plan activities and choose how to measure the success of your activities (this forms the basis of Step 5: Evaluation).

    Focusing in on activities

    As a committee, reflect on the information you have obtained thus far. Consider involving some of your identified partners for this stage, too. You have identified what is currently happening and where there is room for growth, what your community values and what connects your target population to life.

    Looking at the whole picture, what life promotion and suicide prevention activities do you want to focus on? Consider your strengths and gaps, and where your community may need balance along the PIP continuum in your community check-up.

    Use the information you’ve gathered so far to answer the following questions with your committee:

    • Do we want to focus on prevention, intervention, or postvention? (Goal)
    • Which activities would we like to expand on as part of our Plan? (Activity)
    • Which activities would we like to add? (Activity)
    • Who can lead this activity? (Lead)
    • When do we expect this activity to be completed? (End date)

    Take some time to reflect upon who may be left out of the identified activities.

    Together with your committee, fill in your suicide prevention plan worksheet section: Activities – Goal, Activity, Who is left out, Lead, End date.

    Evaluating your activities

    As a committee, reflect on the information you have obtained thus far. Consider involving some of your identified partners for this stage, too. You have identified what is currently happening and where there is room for growth, what your community values and what connects your target population to life.

    Looking at the whole picture, what life promotion and suicide prevention activities do you want to focus on? Consider your strengths and gaps, and where your community may need balance along the PIP continuum in your community check-up.

    Evaluation can help you determine whether your activities are achieving what you hoped they would, and if there is something you would like to change. It’s helpful to develop the evaluation plan together with the actual Plan. As you establish Plan goals, think about how you will know if you’ve met them – what will success look like? A helpful evaluation will identify what is working (strengths), what is missing (gaps), and what may need to be modified (opportunities) for the next round. Evaluation helps direct our work.

    Ask your committee (or even, community) the following questions:

    • What would we like to see come from this activity? (What does success look like?)
    • What is important for our community to measure or understand further?
    • How will we know when we’ve achieved success?
    Together with your committee, fill in your suicide prevention plan worksheet section: Activities – Evaluation with the answers to these questions.

    Identifying what to measure will help determine what goes into your evaluation. Themes that go into a final report (to the community or to funders) may be extracted from this data.

    Choose how you will measure outputs, outcomes and impacts before you begin your activities, and when possible start measuring as soon as you begin your activities. For example, if you choose to measure a change in behaviour, before your activity has even started, create pre and post surveys for your participants to fill out and have them ready for when the activity begins.

    Evaluation measures

    Outputs
    • Tracks what you’re doing.
    • How to do it: Count the volume/numbers of
    Outcomes
    • Tracks what happens as a result of what you’re doing (a change in behaviour).
    • How to do it: Most commonly done by pre and post surveys, where participants indicate their behaviour before and after. Can also be done through storytelling or dialogue such as interviews, focus groups, or talking circles.
    Process
    • Tracks how you’re doing it.
    • How to do it: Data can be gathered through administrative data, surveys, storytelling, and/or dialogue such as interviews, focus groups, or talking circles

    We’ll discuss evaluation more in Step 5, however, evaluation is best started at the beginning of the work.

    Together with your committee, fill in your suicide prevention plan worksheet section: Activities – Measurement with the types of measurement you have chosen to evaluate your activities.

    Creating a budget

    After identifying your activities, enlist someone who is familiar with your community’s finances to create a budget, if needed, for any of the activities you’ve selected.

    Some activities may not require financial backing, but chances are many will. Take into consideration staffing as well as any other needed resourcing to make the activity happen or, in the case of existing activities, to scale up.

    Perhaps you’ve identified some areas where the community is currently underspending its budget – can these resources be reallocated to the Plan activities?

    Securing funding

    In reviewing the budget for your plan, you may find the need to ask for more resources.

    This may involve presenting the plan with a cost-benefit analysis to the leaders in your community who provide funding, or it may involve applying for funding.

    If you decide to apply for funding, have someone on your committee do a scan of what funding might be available for suicide prevention activities in your area.

    Worksheet

    Together with your committee, fill in the Activities section on your worksheet, specifying the activity itself, the goal of that activity, as well as the activity lead and end date. Now is also a good time to fill in some of the evaluation and measurement information.