ACT LifeSpan suicide prevention trial launched today
Published: 5 November, 2018
The ACT government today announced its decision to take part in Australia’s largest suicide prevention trial led by the Black Dog Institute.
ACT Minster for Mental Health Shane Rattenbury today joined Dr Fiona Shand, Research Director for LifeSpan at the Black Dog Institute and Ms Gaylene Coulson, CEO of Capital Health Network to launch the trial locally.
“The ACT Government has established a contract with the Black Dog Institute to commence the implementation of this innovative suicide prevention framework,” Minister Rattenbury said.
“The ACT Government has invested $1.545 million to establish the framework, which combines nine strategies for suicide prevention into one community-led approach.
“Recently in the ACT the number of people who have died by suicide has increased, which is why we need to do something about it as a community,” Minister Rattenbury said.
The Black Dog Institute’s Dr Fiona Shand said that the LifeSpan systems-approach to suicide prevention will include a strong voice from people with a lived experience of suicide, including family members and carers.
“Through our research over the past 5-years at the Black Dog Institute, we know that a systematic, community-led approach is the best way to reduce suicide in our country,” Dr Shand said.
“This is a great example of a partnership between, government, non-government sectors and community working together towards a common goal: suicide prevention,” Dr Shand said.
Black Dog Institute’s LifeSpan is already being implemented across four research trial sites in NSW thanks to funding from the Paul Ramsay Foundation. In partnership with each of these sites, Black Dog has used the most up-to-date evidence-based strategies and interventions for reducing suicide. Black Dog Institute is now in the position to draw upon these implementation and evaluation learnings in support of the ACT LifeSpan trial.
The LifeSpan trial in the ACT will be focussed on nine key areas of implementation:
- Improving emergency and follow-up care for suicidal crisis;
- Using evidence-based treatment for suicidality;
- Equipping primary care to identify and support people in distress;
- Improving the competency and confidence of frontline workers to deal with suicidal crisis;
- Training the community to recognise and respond to suicidality;
- Promoting help-seeking, mental health, and resilience in schools;
- Engaging the community and providing opportunities to be part of the change;
- Encouraging safe and purposeful media reporting; and
- Improving safety and reducing access to means of suicide.
Black Dog Institute’s LifeSpan is already being implemented across four research trial sites in NSW thanks to funding from the Paul Ramsay Foundation. In partnership with each of these sites, we have had the opportunity to put into practice the most up-to-date evidence-based strategies and interventions for reducing suicide. Black Dog Institute is now in the position to draw upon these implementation and evaluation learnings in support of the ACT.
See more information on LifeSpan and suicide prevention research here
Media Contact: Sasha Pavey 0455 115 770 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you or someone you know is in crisis please call one of the following national helplines:
LIFELINE COUNSELLING SERVICE - 13 11 14
SUICIDE CALL BACK SERVICE 1300 659 467 (cost of a local call)