Raising Awareness on the Tough Issues: Messaging for the Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative

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Over the course of the Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative (MSPI), a number of the MSPI program award recipients have launched media campaigns to raise community awareness of the issues and generate community support for program activities. These campaigns support overall MSPI program goals and are often the most critical first steps at the local level. Prevention and intervention programming, like that anticipated by the MSPI, requires a broad base of support. That support may involve robust and active participation in programming or passive recognition of the problem, or activity that falls someplace in between. Effective prevention and intervention programming also often requires individual action. This entire range of support necessitates an awareness of the issues or potential issues – for the MSPI—methamphetamine use and suicide.

While the problems (or potential problems) of methamphetamine and/or suicide appear obvious to some, many people may not recognize the issues. Some people may not know that methamphetamine or suicide is having an impact on their community, and some may not know that the harm is preventable. Some in the community may have a vague idea of the issue, but those individuals may also receive conflicting information. Confusing or conflicting messages tend to lead to the same type of inaction found when there is no awareness of the problem.

Many of the MSPI programs utilize media and information campaigns to push past these barriers and build the support they require for their programs, goals and objectives.

Messages from the Programs

Each MSPI program is unique. In turn, each media campaign reflects the program’s priorities and the community’s readiness. In fact, some MSPI messaging targets suicide and/or methamphetamine use indirectly, by raising awareness of activities that relate to the primary issues. However, all of the media campaigns demonstrate the programs’ shared dedication and determination to keep their communities healthy and safe. As a way to highlight the innovation and creative ability of the MSPI programs, the National Indian Health Board, along with our partners at the Indian Health Service and the National Council of Urban Indian Health, would like to share some of the media campaigns developed by the MSPI programs.

Thinking about adding a media campaign to your MSPI program?

The following media tool kit was adapted from a media toolkit featured on The Community Tool Box, a project of the University of Kansas.

Media Toolkit (PDF)

Additional resources can be found at: