Putting program evaluation to work: A framework for creating actionable knowledge for suicide prevention practice.

Translational Behavioral Medicine, 3(2), 149–161.

June 2013


Wilkins, N., Thigpen, S., Lockman, J., Mackin, J., Madden, M., Perkins, T., Schut, J., Van Regenmorter, C., Williams, L., & Donovan, J.

The economic and human cost of suicidal behavior to individuals, families, communities, and society makes suicide a serious public health concern, both in the US and around the world. As research and evaluation continue to identify strategies that have the potential to reduce or ultimately prevent suicidal behavior, the need for translating these findings into practice grows. The development of actionable knowledge is an emerging process for translating important research and evaluation findings into action to benefit practice settings. In an effort to apply evaluation findings to strengthen suicide prevention practice, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) supported the development of three actionable knowledge products that make key findings and lessons learned from youth suicide prevention program evaluations accessible and useable for action. This paper describes the actionable knowledge framework (adapted from the knowledge transfer literature), the three products that resulted, and recommendations for further research into this emerging method for translating research and evaluation findings and bridging the knowledge-action gap.

Associated Staff

Tamara Perkins