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Tia Burroughs Clayton, MSS
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Alyson Ferguson, MPH
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Vice President of Learning & Community Impact

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Director of Learning & Community Impact

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Tyrone Quarterman, BA, MPH Candidate
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Georgia Kioukis, PhD
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The Hope Initiative Pilot Program

The Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation

The Hope Initiative Pilot Program Logo

Program Website
Year:
2017
State:
Texas
Winner Status:
Applicant
Program Type:
Training and Skill Building
Target Population:
Providers and Caregivers
Setting:
Community

Program Description

Our Foundation strongly believes in the power of community partnerships, so we spearheaded an innovative, low-cost, high-impact suicide prevention pilot program called The Hope Initiative. Through this program, our Foundation serves as the backbone organization for 16 non-profit partners who serve the individuals in our community who are most in need. The Hope Initiative’s goal is to empower our community members with “the tools to save a life” to prevent and eradicate suicide. We have enlisted 16 Tarrant County Non-Profit Partners including Catholic Charities Fort Worth, Meals on Wheels, Alliance for Children, Girls Inc., and many, many more! These fantastic partners invested in their own human capital, and together created 38 new Hope Initiative Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Trainers. Additionally, each partner has committed to training their agency staff, volunteers, and offering sessions for clients and their families. The Hope Initiative team has the capacity to train thousands of community members over the 3-year partnership, empowering our community with the competence and confidence to ask the question that can save a life. Last year this community partnership provided over 55 trainings to more than 1800 gatekeepers.

Creativity

Hundreds of Tarrant County residents die by suicide each year. We realized that no one in Tarrant County provides a free, evidence-based suicide prevention training within our community. The Hope Initiative is unique in the fact that the partnership is between strategically selected non-profit organizations who we believe serve people in our community who are most in need. As a gift from the Foundation, we provide our 60-90 minute suicide prevention training (Question-Persuade-Refer) to all partner agency staff–from the CEO to the Administrative Assistant. This gift saves hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on the size of the team. In return, we ask the agency to identify at least one staff member passionate about mental health and suicide prevention and invest in their human capital by covering the $395 fee for them to become a Question-Persuade-Refer trainer. Over the 3-year partnership we provide booklets and evaluations to ensure effectiveness.

Leadership

Our pilot program utilizes the 5 elements of collective impact: 1) Common agenda–partners recognize the importance of mental health and their role in suicide prevention within the community. 2) Shared measurement–partners all went through the same evidence-based training, and present the same exact training within their agencies. 3) Mutually reinforcing activities–partners understand their expectations as pilot partners , and the commitment involved in the 3-year partnership. 4) Continuous communication–JEH maintains semi-monthly communication among all trainers, and all scheduled training requested are officially documented through the JEH website, as we maintain the master list. 5) Backbone organization–JEH is the backbone organization. We organized the training, pulled the partners all together, develop the training being utilized, created the instrument of measure (tested and proven), responsible for disseminating, collecting, synthesizing, and reporting all data and overall responsible for the entire implementation of the program.

Sustainability

Sustainability is an essential part of any suicide prevention program, and is an integral component behind The Hope Initiative. In exchange for our Foundation providing the free training, and saving the organizations potentially thousands of dollars in training fees, we have asked for each organization to invest in the human capital of at least one staff member to become a QPR Gatekeeper Trainer. Each of our 16 pilot partners sent through at least one person, but many sent more than the minimum requirement. Together, these agencies selected and sent through 38 staff members who have attended the 8-hour training at $395 each, and are now QPR Trainers. At the end of the three-year partnership/certification period, if the agency wants to continue the partnership, our Foundation has agreed to paying the $75 re-certification fee and continue providing free QPR booklets and evaluating for the organization.

Replicability

The Hope Initiative is a replicable model that any community could adopt. In fact, we created this program, with the intention of replicating the model outside of Tarrant County to communities comprising North Texas, and then beyond. We are happy to share every aspect of this model and at no-cost to the user. Within the coming years we’re interested in hiring a national coordinator to assist partner communities to replicate the model, without compromising the integrity and fidelity of the training and/or program.

Results/Outcomes

Metrics are extremely important to us. We believe in utilizing best practice and only evidence-based trainings with our Foundation and for our community. In addition to utilizing QPR, a training that is a national best practice, and there are many peer-reviewed, empirically based, scientific research articles providing the training’s effectiveness, we go the extra mile by also evaluating for effectiveness with a valid and reliable instrument. Our pre-training and post-training evaluations show a significant change from pre to post, with training attendees stating that they feel confident and competent in their ability to help someone thinking about suicide. I’ll attach our logic model with short, medium, and long-term outcomes.