Suicide Prevention Lifespan approach

In 2015, Black Dog Institute and the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention (CRESP) developed a new approach for suicide prevention in Australia on behalf of the NSW Mental Health Commission. Originally referred to as the Systems Approach to Suicide Prevention it is now known as the Life span approach. The model includes nine evidence-based suicide prevention strategies and was informed by the most up-to-date research available including positive results of similar, large scale effective suicide prevention programs overseas.

Aftercare and Crisis Care

Involves crisis teams and patient support packs to ensure care after an attempt.

Services providers include

  • Lifeline \\ 13 11 14
  • Standby Response (United Synergies)
  • Talk Suicide (CAPS)
  • ATAPS Suicide Prevention
  • Suicide call-back service

Psychosocial and Pharmacotherapy Treatments

Includes treatment guidelines/training programs for mental health professionals to ensure evidence-based therapeutic treatments are used.

Services providers include

  • ATAPS Suicide Prevention

GP Capacity Building and Support

Involves educating health care providers to identify depression and at risk patients

Services providers include

  • Lifeforce Training (Wesley Mission)
  • HealthPathways (PHN)

Frontline Staff Training

Includes identifying potential gatekeepers in the community and providing relevant training. Gatekeeper programs focus on increasing mental health literacy and teaching skills to assess, manage, and provide resources for at-risk individuals.

Services providers include

  • Suicide ASSIST (Uniting Care Community)*
  • Mental Health First Aid (Uniting Care Community)*
  • National Centre of Excellence in Suicide Prevention (Griffith University)
  • ReachOUT! Pro
  • LIFE Framework
  • Lifeforce Training (Wesley Mission)
  • Mates in Construction*

Gatekeeper Training

Includes identifying potential gatekeepers in the community and providing relevant training. Gatekeeper programs focus on increasing mental health literacy and teaching skills to assess, manage, and provide resources for at-risk individuals.

Services providers include

  • Mental Health First Aid (Uniting Care Community)*
  • Suicide ASSIST (Uniting Care Community)*
  • Mates in Construction*
  • Lifeforce Training (Wesley Mission) 

School Programs

Schools provide a cost-effective and convenient way of reaching young people. School-based programs focus on increasing help-seeking, mental health literacy and knowledge of suicide warning signs and help strategies.

Services providers include

  • Ed-Link
  • Wheels of Wellbeing Model (WOW)
  • Mind Matters
  • Guidance Officers
  • Mental Health Coaches
  • School Chaplains
  • School Psychologists
  • Peer Skills Program (Uniting Care Community)

Community campaigns

Campaigns work best when delivered alongside other strategies and are used to improve mental health literacy in the general population. Stakeholders should work together to ensure targeted, consistent messaging.

Services providers include

  • RUOK?
  • Talk Suicide (CAPS)*
  • Lifeforce Project (Wesley Mission)
  • Out of the Darkness Walk (Lifeline)*
  • Mates in Construction*
  • MindOUT! (National LGBTI Health Alliance)
  • Roses in the Ocean
  • Conversations for Life (ConNetica)

Media Guidelines

Suicidal behaviour can be learned from the media. Media guidelines recommending the responsible reporting of suicide by the media can reduce suicide rates. Local media should be encouraged to utilise the Mindframe media reporting guidelines.

Services providers include

  • Mind Frame
  • Community Broadcasting Suicide Prevention Project (Community Broadcasting Association Australia)

Means Restrictions

Restricting access to the means of suicide is considered to be one of the most effective suicide prevention strategies.

Services providers include

Services of this nature are not available in our PHN region at this time

The above steps are outlined in more detail in the LifeSpan Integrated Suicide Prevention Summary Paper by Lifespan and the Black Dog Institute (July 2016)
** Denotes Sunshine Coast/Gympie face-to-face service