DMHAS: CYSPI Program Evaluation

DMHAS Prevention and Health Promotion Unit

CYSPI Program Evaluation


The requests for award announced by SAMHSA under the GLSMA requires grantees to participate in three evaluation components:

(1) Annual self-evaluations of outcomes and activities, including consultation with interested families and advocacy organizations;

(2) Participation and cooperation with a cross-site evaluation; and

(3) Data and performance measurement to satisfy requirements of the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA).  

These evaluation requirements are intended to provide program information at various levels, and all are intended to complement each other. Individual-level outcome data ideally should assist grantees in evaluating the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of different suicide prevention activities implemented at their sites in meeting suicide prevention goals, most importantly, the reduction of suicide attempts and suicide deaths. Such data may be of use in modifying suicide prevention activities or strategies, as well as in developing new programs to meet identified needs. The purpose of the cross-site evaluation is to evaluate the effectiveness of the GLS Suicide Prevention Program as a whole, that is, across grantee programs. The cross-site evaluation will describe the scope of suicide prevention activities at the national level, as well as evaluate the support for and effectiveness of different activities. Cross-site evaluation data will complement self-evaluation activities by capturing consistent data across grantees, which can be used to compare the outcomes of local efforts with the outcomes of national aggregate outcomes. 


Partners: Robert H. Aseltine, Jr., Ph.D. and Amy James, Ph.D. of the University of Connecticut Health Center Institute for Public Health Research.  

Goal: To conduct a high quality program evaluation through an academic partnership.

Objective 1: Conduct a process and outcome evaluation of the infrastructure and evidence-based prevention intervention activities.

Objective 2: Evaluate progress and outcome performance measures to assess program effectiveness, ensure quality services, identify successes, inform quality improvement, and promote systemic sustainability of effective practices.

Objective 3: Translate the process/outcome evaluation into lessons learned for communities attempting to implement evidence-based suicide prevention interventions in their communities.

Objective 4: Disseminate findings by producing a written report for statewide use, national replication, and to inform the Youth Suicide Advisory Board and Mental Health Policy Council, as part of its legislatively mandated annual report to the Governor and the General Assembly.


In efforts to fully understand and improve the delivery of suicide prevention programs and the

GLS Suicide Prevention Program Initiative, the GLSMA mandated that the effectiveness of funded programs be evaluated. Specifically, section 520E(g) of the GLSMA mandates a cross-site evaluation to be conducted concerning the effectiveness of the activities carried out under the State/Tribal program. The GLSMA specifies that a report to Congress must be submitted 

“to analyze the effectiveness and efficacy of the activities conducted with grants, collaborations, and consultations under [section 520E].” 

As such, the cross-site evaluation of the State/Tribal program was designated by SAMHSA as a required component of State/Tribal grantees funded under the GLSMA. These grantees were required, in their funding application, to indicate their intention to fully participate in and cooperate with the cross-site evaluation. SAMHSA selected ORC Macro International, a research and evaluation-consulting firm, as the contractor to design the cross-site evaluation and provide technical assistance and training for State/Tribal grantees in implementing the cross-site evaluation. 

The cross-site evaluation will provide answers to four overarching questions:

  • What types of prevention/intervention programs, services, and products are used with youth determined to be at risk for suicidal behavior?
  • What is the reach of program services, products, and strategies?
  • To what extent do collaboration and integration at the grantee level influence suicide prevention activities?
  • What is the impact of program activities on the early identification of youth at risk for suicide and the resulting linkages to mental health or other support services? 

The information obtained through the cross-site evaluation is of national importance, as little is known about the effectiveness of suicide prevention programs across multiple settings serving diverse youth populations. Although evaluations have examined the effectiveness of specific suicide prevention activities, such as gatekeeper trainings, suicide screening programs, and skills trainings, these studies have focused on specific populations, mostly school based, and have not assessed the impact of coordinated suicide prevention programs across multiple sites or time (Eggert, Nicholas & Owen, 1995; Eggert, Randell, Thompson, & Johnson, 1997; Kalafat & Elias, 1994; King & Smith, 2000). The GLS Suicide Prevention Program was funded, in part, to implement statewide coordinated approaches to suicide prevention, and the cross-site evaluation will assess the effectiveness of these approaches in diverse settings to determine the extent to which funded activities have met the goals and objectives of the GLSMA. Cross-site evaluation data also will be used to assess performance across time in these diverse settings, in efforts to improve and enhance suicide prevention programs for current and future funded grantees. The GLS Suicide Prevention Program’s cross-site evaluation provides an opportunity for grantees to contribute significantly to the field where little information currently exists. Furthermore, data collected from this evaluation will result in the largest database related to suicide prevention and related programs. 

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Content Last Modified on 8/19/2010 10:20:48 AM