Guidelines List

Guidelines Type

10 steps to a more effective nonprofit website: Part 1

This resource from the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) will help you develop a non-profit website that is effective and engaging. It includes a list of the top 10 elements of an effective nonprofit website, as well as examples illustrating each element.

Websites Resources

A guide for speaking publicly about suicides

This guide, from the Australian Mindframe project, aims to provide some practical tips on safe ways to discuss suicide publicly, ensuring any risks are managed while also increasing the community understanding of suicide. 

Telling Others’ Stories, Telling Your Own Story Resources

A practitioner's resource guide: Helping families to support their LGBT children

This resource guide offers information and resources to help practitioners throughout health and social service systems implement best practices in engaging and helping families and caregivers to support their lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) children. Research has shown that compared to LGBT young adults who reported high levels of family rejection during adolescence were 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted suicide. 

Families-Parents and Caregivers, LGBT, Youth, Family Support SPRC Library Resource

A toolkit for evaluating programs meant to erase the stigma of mental illness

This toolkit provides measures to help advocates examine the impact of anti-stigma approaches at the local level.  It distinguishes the stigma of mental illness into three groups: public stigma, self-stigma, and label avoidance. The toolkit outlines aims to help advocates evaluate their efforts in an accessible way, while also providing a common language and set of measures for advocates and researchers to discuss measuring stigma change.

Evaluation Planning, Stigma Reduction, Mental Health Care Resources

AAS criteria for educational videos on youth suicide prevention

These criteria, developed by the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) for evaluating and recommending educational videos addressing youth suicide prevention, can also be used as you develop videos. See especially:

  • the Evaluation Tool for Suicide Prevention Video Programs
  • the Explanation of the Video Criteria used in the AAS Video Program Review Tool.
Videos, Evaluation Planning, Evaluating Specific Types of Communication, Youth Resources

Adding power to our voices: A framing guide for communicating about injury

Includes framing theory, message development techniques and vehicles for explaining public health statistics.

Telling Others’ Stories, Telling Your Own Story SPRC Library Resource

Anti Stigma Programme European Network (ASPEN)

The Anti Stigma Programme European Network (ASPEN) aims to make a significant contribution towards the reduction of stigma and discrimination against people with depression.  Their website includes findings from stigma research, a best practices toolkit, example campaigns, and other resources and materials to help guide your efforts to eradicate stigma.

Stigma Reduction Resources

Are we there yet? A communications evaluation guide

This guide from the Communications Network is intended to help nonprofits be more effective in evaluating their communications efforts. It offers solutions in easy-to-use formats to help you prepare your communications upfront and evaluate as you go along.

Evaluation, Evaluation Planning Resources

Beat the stigma and discrimination! Four lessons for mental health advocates

This handbook provides four lessons for mental health advocates working to eliminate stigma and discrimination in mental health; including: understanding the problem, identifying the target, selecting change strategies, and measuring your impact.

Stigma Reduction, Mental Health Care Resources

Best Practices for Online Technologies

Developed by industry and mental health experts, this resource offers three levels of response to suicidal ideation or intent ranging from Basic to Advanced.

Social Media, Websites Resources

CDC Office of the Associate Director for Policy

This portal provides information concerning effective prevention and public health policies and interventions, as well as the use of credible evidence of prevention’s impact by policy makers, health care and the business community. It links to the CDC Health Policy Series, a collection of policy briefs designed to provide practical guidance to state and local public health practitioners, highlighting specific opportunities for public health to engage with health care to improve population health. The CDC Policy Process provides a framework which includes domains from problem identification through evaluation.

SPRC Library Resource

CDC’s guide to writing for social media

This guide, developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), was designed to provide guidance to help you write more effectively for different new media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, and mobile phone text messaging.

Social Media Resources

Communicating to advance the public's health: Workshop summary

On September 22, 2014, the Institute of Medicine's Roundtable on Population Health Improvement held a workshop to discuss some of the science of health communication, audiences, and messaging, and to explore what it will take to generate widespread awareness, acceptance, and action to improve health, including through the entertainment media, the news media, and social media. This report summarizes the presentations and discussion of the workshop.

SPRC Library Resource

Creating an effective web site

This guide from the University of Washington helps you create an effective website by asking key questions that will guide you in clarifying your goals, determining your needs and resources, and organize your content. The guide also offers suggestions on how to design a consistent layout for your website’s pages.

Websites Resources

Culture and community: Suicide prevention resources for Native Americans in California

This guide describes culturally relevant resources to plan and engage in suicide prevention programs, discusses safe messaging and social marketing, and illustrates suicide prevention materials from 19 American Indian communities in 11 states. An appendix provides American Indian and Alaska Native sources for materials on topics related to suicide, such as mental health, addiction, and depression. Although the title indicates this is for Californians, it is relevant for all parts of the nation.

Culturally Specific Messaging Resources

Culture and community: Suicide prevention resources for Native Americans in California

The document describes culturally relevant resources to plan and engage in suicide prevention programs, discusses safe messaging and social marketing, and illustrates suicide prevention materials from 19 American Indian communities in 11 states. An appendix provides American Indian and Alaska Native sources for materials on topics related to suicide, such as mental health, addiction, and depression. Although the title indicates this is for Californians, it is relevant for all parts of the nation.

American Indian-Alaska Native Resources

Culture and ethnicity in mental illness stigma: A literature review

This 2013 literature review was conducted by the Center for Dignity, Recovery & Empowerment as part of its Promising Practices Program (PPP). This program aims to identify activities and/or practices that have a particular promise to reduce mental illness stigma and discrimination within the context of specific cultural, ethnic, and racial community programs. Results from the literature review are broken down into the four major ethnic/cultural group determined by the scope of the PPP project: African Americans, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Latinos, and Native Americans. 

Culturally Specific Messaging, Stigma Reduction Resources

Developing an effective evaluation plan: Setting the course for effective program evaluation

The purpose of this workbook is to help public health program managers, administrators, and evaluators develop a joint understanding of what constitutes an evaluation plan, why it is important, and how to develop an effective evaluation plan in the context of the planning process. It is intended to assist in developing an evaluation plan but not to serve as a complete resource on how to implement program evaluation. Rather, it should be used along with other evaluation resources, such as those listed in the resource section of this workbook.

SPRC Library Resource

Engaging and empowering aboriginal youth: A toolkit for service providers

This tooklit covers understanding and integrating cultural identity, increasing youth engagement,  establishing partnerships, and evaluation when developing programs for youth violence prevention. While it focuses on aboriginal populations in Canada, much of the content also applies to youth empowerment initiatives with Native youth in the United States. 

American Indian-Alaska Native, Culturally Specific Messaging, Youth Resources

Evaluating communication campaigns

Derived in part from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Research and Evaluation Conference in 2007, this resource addresses evaluation of communications campaigns, policy-oriented communications, and advocacy efforts.  The report offers information on the principles of evaluation, choosing your evaluation design, and overcoming the particular barriers that can arise with communication evaluation.

Evaluation, Evaluation Planning Resources

Faces and Voices of Recovery

These web pages from Faces and Voices of Recovery provide “Recovery Messaging” training to help people in recovery from addiction and their families to speak publicly about their experiences in a way that helps build public support for people getting the help they need to recover.  Featured tip sheets and other resources offers guidance on working with the media, outreach to policymakers, public speaking, and other kinds of messaging. 

Working with News Media, Public Speaking, Recovery, Telling Others’ Stories, Telling Your Own Story Resources

Guide to choosing and adapting culturally and linguistically competent health promotion materials

This resource from the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development will help you create or adapt materials to ensure they are respectful of the cultural values, beliefs, and practices of the intended audience. 

Adapting Messages or Materials Resources

Guide to engaging the media in suicide prevention

This 44-page guide teaches you how to serve as an effective media spokesperson and how to generate media coverage to create awareness of suicide prevention. The publication describes how to use television, radio, and print media and provides examples of press releases, media advisories, pitch letters, op-eds and more. It also gives tips for identifying appropriate media outlets, creating up-to-date media lists, and tracking your results.

Working with News Media SPRC Library Resource

Health policy communications

In this narrated slide tutorial, Jackie Judd, vice president and senior adviser for communications at the Kaiser Family Foundation, provides information and guidance on how to effectively communicate with the media. She also provides suggestions for how to frame key messages for print, broadcast and radio interview settings as well as other policy audiences.

Working with News Media, Policy Advocacy SPRC Library Resource

Impact and value: Telling your program's story

The purpose of this workbook is to help public health program administrators understand what a “success story” is, why it is important to tell success stories, and how to develop success stories.

Working with News Media, Telling Others’ Stories, Telling Your Own Story SPRC Library Resource

Lessons in evaluating communications campaigns: Five case studies

This paper examines how communication campaigns with different purposes (individual behavior change and policy change) have been evaluated. It offers a discussion of theories of change that can guide evaluation planning, along with five case studies of completed campaign evaluations. Each case study includes lessons learned from the evaluation, and the paper finishes with a set of cross-case-study lessons gleaned from these and other evaluations.

Evaluation, Evaluation Planning Resources

Lifeline online postvention manual

The recommendations in this manual detail how to safely memorialize someone who has died by suicide. These guidelines can be applied to online memorials and online messages about the deceased.

Online Postvention Messaging SPRC Library Resource

Making headlines: A guide to engaging the media in suicide prevention in California

This guide provides people engaged in suicide prevention with the tools necessary to serve as effective media spokespersons and to generate media coverage in order to create awareness of this important issue. It can help them to understand the needs of the news media as part of an effective media outreach program.

Working with News Media SPRC Library Resource

Mayors' resource guide on behavioral health issues

This guide helps ensure that mayors and municipal leaders have the information they need to address the behavioral health needs of their community's children, adults, and families by supporting the prevention and treatment of mental illness and recovery from mental illness.

Mental Health Care SPRC Library Resource

Media guidelines for school administrators who may interact with reporters about youth suicide

This brief manual explores how media accounts can actually serve as a suicide prevention tool by: assisting news professionals to report responsibly and accurately; using a media request for information as an opportunity to influence the contents of the story; emphasizing the importance of listing available community resources for individuals at-risk and describing what is being done to promote safety for vulnerable individuals in the aftermath of a suicide; and warning against the aspects of news coverage that may promote copycat suicides.

Youth, Working with News Media, School SPRC Library Resource

Men and suicide, part II. Encouraging help-seeking and the promise of social support

SIEC Alert. Dec 2007; #66. This newsletter issue describes the recent research studies on men seeking help and on the role of family and friends. The Centre for Suicide Prevention is a program of the Canadian Mental Health Association. in suicide prevention.

Adults, Males, Increase Help-seeking, Social Support SPRC Library Resource

Misdirections in bullying prevention & response (Video)

A 6-minute video, from, discusses approaches to avoid in bullying prevention and response, drawing on the best evidence and expert opinion. It cautions against overstating the suicide-bullying relationship and offers messaging guidance for talking about bullying and suicide.

Bullying Resources

Peer support for mental health: Recent research

A list of research articles on the website of the organization Peers for Progress. It includes recent research, review papers, and featured reports.

Peer Support Resources

Recommendations for Blogging on Suicide

The Recommendations are meant to assist bloggers in blogging about suicide safely, and ultimately maximize the effectiveness of the communicators' efforts and reduce the risk of harmful effects of unsafe messaging on suicide.

Blogging Resources

Recommendations for Reporting on Mass Shootings

The recommendations address how media covers an incident where a person (or a small group) shoots multiple others in a public setting. The tragedies at Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora and Orlando are examples of mass shootings. These recommendations are not intended to address gang violence or murder­ suicide (i.e. intimate partner violence).

Working with News Media Resources

Recommendations for reporting on suicide

Released in 2011, the Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide were developed by leading experts in suicide prevention and in collaboration with several international suicide prevention and public health organizations, schools of journalism, media organizations and key journalists as well as Internet safety experts. The research-based recommendations include suggestions for online media, message boards, bloggers, and "citizen journalists."

Working with News Media, Social Media SPRC Library Resource

Relationship between the economy, unemployment and suicide

Talking points on the economy, unemployment, and suicide prepared in November 2008. URLs updated in June of 2012.

Workplace, Economy and Unemployment SPRC Library Resource

School memorials after suicide: Helpful or harmful?

This issue brief draws from the research to provide guidance for responding to suicide in a manner that supports grieving while mitigating contagion.

School-Based Postvention Messaging, School SPRC Library Resource

Social Media Guidelines for Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention

The Entertainment Industries Council’s TEAM Up Social Media Guidelines for Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention provide tips for organizations and individuals communicating about mental health and suicide on social media to reduce stigma, increase help seeking behavior and help prevent suicide.

Social Media Resources

Special considerations for telling your own story: Best practices for presentations by suicide loss and suicide attempt survivors

This document outlines best practices for suicide loss and suicide attempt survivors who are considering sharing their story with the public. The best practices were created by a group of experts in the suicide prevention community and include information on: assessing readiness to speak; considering family reactions and potential social ramifications; resources for safe messaging; speaking to the media; self-care; and other considerations.

Suicide Attempt Survivors, Presentations, Telling Your Own Story SPRC Library Resource

Suicidality and help-seeking behaviors in American Indian youth

Data Trend #143 May 2007. This fact sheet summarizes research on suicidality and help-seeking behavior in American Indian youth and discusses the importance of culture in determining both outcomes.

American Indian-Alaska Native, Youth, Increase Help-seeking SPRC Library Resource

Suicide and mental illness in the media: A Mindframe resource for the mental health and suicide prevention sectors

Part of Australia's Mindframe National Media initiative, this guide to help people working in suicide prevention and mental health promotion to effectively communicate with the media about suicide, mental health, and mental illness in a way that promotes sensitive and appropriate reporting. The guide includes suggestions for providing information about suicide, as well as general strategies for working with the media.

Working with News Media Resources

Suicide clusters and contagion: Recognizing and addressing suicide contagion are essential to successful suicide postvention efforts

This article describes the problem of contagion and the ways that administrators can act to prevent it by establishing a crisis team, recognizing and monitoring at-risk students, and mobilizing community-wide responses.

General Postvention Messaging SPRC Library Resource

Suicide postvention in the school community

These 51 slides discuss considerations for postvention that involve all school personnel. Topics covered include contagion, risk identification, memorialization, and dealing with the media.

School-Based Postvention Messaging, School SPRC Library Resource

Suicide safe mobile app

Equips providers with education and support resources to assess patients' risk of suicide, communicate effectively with patients and families, determine appropriate next steps, and make referrals to treatment and community resources.

SPRC Library Resource

Talking about suicide and LGBT populations

A consortium of organizations issued these recommendations to guide both news and social media in safe reporting of suicide events among LGBT populations that may be related to bullying. The recommendations are intended to promote vital, thoughtful public discussion about the issue and prevent contagion associated with sensational language.
The Talking About Suicide & LGBT Populations guide is a community-based resource for talking about suicide in ways that minimize contagion risk while at the same time expanding public conversations about the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, promoting the need for family support and acceptance, and encouraging help-seeking by LGBT people who may be contemplating suicide. In addition to 12 practical recommendations on how to talk about suicide in safe and accurate ways, the guide provides information about suicide contagion, bullying and suicide, talking about suicide in social media, and research findings on suicide.

Program Objectives:

Those who read the recommendations will learn to:
1.Reduce the use of language in public communications that may increase risk of suicide contagion.
2.Increase the use of language in public communications that fosters an accurate understanding of suicide and its causes.
3.Increase awareness of, and emphasis on, the need to support the well-being of LGBT people.

LGBT SPRC Library Resource

Tech-savvy communications: A toolkit for nonprofits

A product of NPower Seattle and the Seattle nonprofit community, this toolkit is intended to help non-profits use technology to better serve their communities. The toolkit can help you identify your audience, create effective messaging, and evaluate communication tactics. It also offers in-depth guidance on using technology as a tool in effective communications.

Other Technology Resources

The ASPEN project: Challenging stigma and discrimination against people with depression: Best practice guidelines, values, and resources

This guide will help you to develop projects and campaigns to reduce stigma and discrimination, drawing upon international evidence and experiences. It is aimed at frontline workers in campaigns, non-governmental organizations (NGO), service users, community activists and public health practitioners. It will help you to advocate, plan, deliver and evaluate programs to combat stigma in your setting. 

Stigma Reduction Resources

The health communicator’s social media toolkit

This toolkit, developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will help you get started using social media.  Learn how to develop governance, develop a social media strategy, and determine which social media channels best meet your communications objectives. The toolkit also provides overviews of popular social media channels, outlining the cost, resources required, and key audience for each.

Social Media Resources

The health communicator’s social media toolkit

This toolkit was designed to provide guidance and to the share lessons learned in more than three years of integrating social media into CDC health communication campaigns, activities and emergency response efforts. The guide includes information on getting started using social media—from developing governance to determining which channels best meet specific communication objectives to creating a social media strategy. There is also information about popular channels that can be incorporated into communications plans, such as blogs, video-sharing sites, mobile applications and RSS feeds. Although intended for a beginner audience, although some viewers with an intermediate level may find parts of the toolkit useful.

SPRC Library Resource

Youth advocate to advocate for youth: The next transition

This guide, which is intended for young people, helps youth focus on advocating for change by telling their stories and working on the transition to adulthood.

Youth, Telling Your Own Story Resources