Gatekeepers and Social Network

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    Meyer Moldeven

    none””>The Suicide Prevention Resource Center
    (SPRC) e-newsletter The Weekly Spark, September 16, 2010 includes the following
    item from the Los Angeles Times:

    ‘The “contagion” of social
    networks, Los Angeles Times, Sep. 13, 2010
 Public health researchers are
    experimenting with new programs that tap into the power of social networks to
    promote healthy habits, including help-seeking for suicidal ideation. The basic
    approach is to identify influential members within a social network (classroom,
    neighborhood, online community, etc.) and target them with a positive health
    message in the hope that it will become “contagious” within the network. As
    this article in the Los Angeles Times explains, these experiments have had
    mixed results. According to researcher Thomas Valente, who has led several studies
    of smoking prevention and drug abuse prevention programs in schools, efforts to
    influence behavior may need to be designed differently for different types of
    social networks.

    Link to the article and relevant excerpt from the LATimes are at:

    Note: I’ve received inquiries from unknown private citizens recently about ‘gatekeepers’ engaged in
    or who are interested in suicide prevention work, like what they do and how do they do
    it. I got my ‘hotline’ volunteer training and was deeply involved in sp during
    Viet Nam and for a few years afterward. I’m no longer qualified to respond to
    questions on the subject. However, answers were called for. As the SPRC website
    is an open resource I referred the queries to the SPRC:


    Practices Registry Section III: Adherence to Standards Question, Persuade,
    Refer (QPR)

    (QPR) Gatekeeper
    Training at

    I have also added this Note to my blog:

    Suicide Prevention in Everybody’s Business, at


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