Increasing the Usability and Cultural Relevance of an EBPI for Suicidality in Schools
- Stephanie Brewer, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
- Janine Jones, PhD, Associate Professor, College of Education
Suicide is a major public health concern. Over the past year, 1 in 5 high school students have seriously considered suicide, and 1 in 13 have attempted suicide. Schools provide a uniquely suitable environment for the identification and management of suicide risk, yet there is no evidence-based individual-level psychosocial intervention tailored for school clinicians to use when treating suicidality in youth. Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicide (CAMS) is a suicide-specific intervention that enables clinicians to quickly assess and treat suicidality, while being extremely trainable, flexible, and resource-efficient. Although CAMS is a promising approach to treating suicidality, interventions developed in traditional mental health settings typically cannot be used “as is” in schools. Given the complexity of the school setting and its distinctness from the traditional outpatient setting in which CAMS was developed, CAMS redesign is indicated if it is to fill the gap in school-based suicide care for the diverse students served in schools. This study will use the Discover, Design/Build, Test (DDBT) framework to redesign CAMS for high schools. DDBT integrates two methods that have complementary strengths—user-centered design and participatory action research. Using DDBT, CAMS will be tailored for high schools, resulting in significantly greater acceptability, usability, contextual appropriateness, and cultural responsiveness. Redesigning CAMS for high schools using DDBT will have a large public health impact because it will provide a highly usable intervention targeted toward treating suicidality in students and provide a proof of concept for how to redesign interventions for schools using a sequential data-driven process.