Macedon Ranges Place-Based Suicide Prevention Trials
1 July 2017 – 30 June 2021
Starting in 2016, the Victorian Government partnered with all 6 Victorian primary health networks to work with local communities to develop and implement coordinated place-based approaches to suicide prevention.
The place-based model was designed to work with local skills, expertise, and resources to deliver a range of evidence-based suicide prevention activities specifically suited to local community needs.
This trial focused the Shire of Macedon Ranges, a peri-urban and rural local government area that contains the towns of Gisborne, Gisborne South, Kyneton, Lancefield, Macedon, Malmsbury, Mount Macedon, New Gisborne, Riddells Creek, Romsey and Woodend.
Within the district, 95 per cent of residents who were born in Australia with a mix of family compositions. The 2021 ABS census data reported that 73 per cent of the adult population was at an increased lifetime risk of alcohol related harm. Data indicated that the suicide rate within the Shire was trending upwards, in contrast to findings for other areas in the NWMPHN catchment.
The trial was supported by a governance group comprising community members, including some with lived experience of suicidality, joined by representatives from local health organisations, local government, and state-wide partners. The Macedon Ranges Suicide prevention Action Group (MRSPAG) was formed to support a local response to suicide prevention across the region, supported by a partnership between NWMPHN and Macedon Ranges Health.
This ensured the delivery of the trial was locally owned, and driven by lived experience. It built on community strengths through engagement, education and the building of tailored support pathways.
Activities undertaken as part of the trial:
- Macedon Ranges: review and implementation of postvention protocol
- Peer support for those bereaved by suicide
- The Human Code
- Cut The Silence
- Art Bombing for Better Mental Health
- Funeral Directors Guide
- Annual Suicide Prevention Walk
- Macedon Ranges Suicide Prevention Action Group transitional arrangements
To explore a range of activities undertaken throughout the trial, Macedon Ranges Health have developed the following webpage Macedon Ranges Place-Based Suicide Prevention Trial.
- expanded the evidence base in relation to the risk and protective factors related to suicide
- raised community awareness and understanding of suicide
- improved knowledge of how to work together at a local level to design and develop coordinated responses.
Visit the Victorian Government website for more information on lessons and achievements from Victoria’s place-based suicide prevention trials.