Suicide prevention trials
From 2017 to 2021, North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network undertook 3 suicide prevention trials.
The Victorian Government and the 6 Victorian primary health networks partnered on trials in 12 locations. In the NWMPHN region, trials were conducted in the high-risk areas of Macedon Ranges and Melton-Brimbank – local government areas on Melbourne’s urban fringe.
The aim was to reduce rates of suicide and improve people’s resilience and wellbeing, and that of their communities. Suicide prevention groups from different sectors developed and implemented local responses and evidence-based strategies. Local stakeholders met regularly to review local data, and used the LifeSpan model as a guide to develop and prioritise local suicide prevention activities.
The trials finished in June 2022, but helped to establish systems that will continue to prevent suicide well into the future.
National LGBTIQ+ trial
The National Suicide Prevention Trial was an initiative funded by the Commonwealth Government in 12 different sites across Australia over a 5-year timeframe.
Each of the trials was led by a local primary health network and aimed to improve the evidence base around effective suicide prevention strategies for priority population groups and the broader population.
The NWMPHN region is diverse in its geography and people. It includes a large number of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) people. Although many LGBTIQ+ Australians live healthy and happy lives, a disproportionate number of them experience poorer mental health outcomes and have higher risk of suicidal behaviours than their peers – and were therefore chosen as the priority population.
Learn more about the project’s outcomes or visit the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care website to read the final evaluation report.
Each trial produced valuable and distinct findings, but some similarities were also revealed. These are being used to shape the development of the next iteration of suicide prevention activities.
Key trial insights included:
- People with lived and living experience of suicidality must be involved in all aspects of suicide prevention activities. This is particularly so in matters involving intersectionality. This includes involvement in planning and governance as well as service design and delivery.
- Community capability, ownership and empowerment are essential to appropriately target and drive suicide prevention activities in ways create sustained change in suicide prevention and response.
- Being data-led is integral to ensuring activities are targeted to those most at risk. Data – appropriately accessed and shared – can highlight the impact of ongoing prevention and response activities within the community.
- Communities and workforce are eager to build their capacity and capability to respond to suicide – increasing confidence to discuss the subject and access appropriate support.