Join the Social Movement of Suicide Prevention -- Welcoming the New and Needed Voices: Interview with Colleen Creighton | Episode 41

If you are thinking about getting involved in suicide prevention or suicide grief support, we need you. You have a place and your voice matters. Learn more in this interview about how to get involved in my interview with Colleen Creighton, Executive Director of the American Association of Suicidology.


Social movements tend to follow predictable phases in their development. In a paper I co-authored with Dr. Danielle Jahn called “Tracking a Movement: U.S. Milestones in Suicide Prevention” we discussed four stages of development that seem track the emergence and decline of a wildfire:

  • Stage 1: A Spark is Lit — at this stage individuals are triggered by a shared belief that something isn’t right. People start to come together in small groups over water-coolers and in coffee shops and become agitated together.

  • Stage 2: Combustion and Local Coalescence — at this stage many small local pockets begin to enrolls new voices and create local strategy, and momentum builds.

  • Stage 3: Fully Developed and Consuming Energy — here we have bureaucratization with broader levels of standards and coordination and enrollment of universal systems like media, education, healthcare, faith communities, politics and workplace.

  • Stage 4: Decay and Decline — momentum dies out.

In this interview we talk about how the movement is gaining traction through new directions in research to practice, media responsiveness, community engagement and legislation.

Join the Movement

Do you want to get involved? One step you can take is join the American Association of Suicidology — membership is accessible for all.


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About Colleen Creighton

Colleen Creighton joined the American Association of Suicidology in June 2017. Previously, she served as Executive Director of the Alliance for Consumer Education (ACE), a nonprofit foundation dedicated to the safe and responsible use of consumer household products. She also served as Director of CHPA Educational Foundation where she was responsible for overseeing the day-to-day management of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association’s educational foundation.

Prior to her work in the nonprofit foundation arena, Ms. Creighton worked in the educational field, having taught civics education at the elementary, middle, and secondary levels. Additionally, she spent three years in Lancut, Poland working for the International World Teach program, an organization based out of the Harvard University Center for International Development. Before that, she studied NATO and the European Union at the Irish Institute for European Affairs in Leuven, Belgium.

Colleen holds a B.A. in Political Science from the Catholic University of America and a M.A. in East European Studies from the Freie Universität Berlin in Germany.

Show Notes

Tracking a Movement: U.S. Milestones in Suicide Prevention:

National Center for the Prevention of Youth Suicide

Twitter Chat: School Suicide Prevention: Best Practices for Youth and their Caring Adults(#ElevateTheConvo Twitter Chat)

Suicide Attempt Survivors:

Suicide Loss Survivors:

Jasper’s Game Day:

Not Okay App

Graphic to Share

Please, feel free to share this graphic. All we ask is that you link it back to this podcast episode. Photo by Craig Miller.

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