LifeSpan – a systems approach to suicide prevention
Suicide rates in Australia have not declined over the past decade, with recent statistics showing they may actually be rising. In 2014, 2,864 Australians died by suicide – more than the national road toll.
The significance of this problem demands a new response.
LifeSpan is an innovative, world-class approach to suicide prevention and is the new name for the Systems Approach to Suicide Prevention initially developed on behalf of the NSW Mental Health Commission by the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention (CRESP) and Black Dog Institute. Based on the most up-to-date evidence available and drawing from positive results of similar, large-scale suicide prevention programs overseas, LifeSpan involves the implementation of nine evidence-based strategies simultaneously within a localised area. This integrated systems approach is expected to prevent 21% of suicide deaths, and 30% of suicide attempts.
While the value of saved lives to individuals, families and communities is immeasurable, the benefits to the Australian economy could measure in the billions of dollars per year.
Thanks to the generous support of the Paul Ramsay Foundation, LifeSpan is being implemented and scientifically assessed in four NSW Sites.