The Buoy Project is a research collaboration that addresses the evidence gap in effective suicide prevention interventions for boys and men in Australia. The Buoy Project is a collaboration between five universities and 14 community organisations with a commitment to preventing male suicide.

From a young age, males in our society are encouraged to be stoic, brave and self-reliant. These qualities are great in many circumstances, but they can mean that if boys and men are facing tough times they may not feel comfortable talking to a mate, much less seeking professional help. If they do reach out, they sometimes find that there is a mismatch between what they want and what services provide. Together, these factors may be contributing to the high male suicide rate.

The Buoy Project is testing seven different suicide prevention interventions for boys and men via a series of randomised controlled trials (RCTs). Five of the interventions are “upstream” interventions that encourage boys and men to look out for each other and talk to a counsellor or other professional if they’re facing life’s challenges. The other two are “downstream” interventions which are all about making sure that the services available to boys and men are tailored to their needs. Once it has tested all seven interventions, the Buoy Project will bring the findings from the RCTs together to model whether the male suicide rate could be significantly reduced if these interventions were delivered at scale.

For a detailed description of the individual interventions and the RCTs that are testing them, please click on the options below.

Upstream interventions

Breaking the Man Code
Breaking the Man Code
Ahead of the Game
Ahead of the Game
Media-based male suicide prevention campaign
Media-based male suicide prevention campaign
MATES
MATES
Mental Health First Aid - Conversations about Suicide (MHFA CaS)
Mental Health First Aid - Conversations about Suicide (MHFA CaS)

Downstream interventions

Lifeline Australia
Lifeline Australia
Men in Mind
Men in Mind

Bringing it all together

Once all of the randomised controlled trials are completed, the results will be used in a modelling exercise that looks at what would happen if the interventions were scaled up. The modelling will consider the broader budgetary and societal implications of rolling out these interventions in an optimal way in the real world.

Researchers

Chief Investigators

Professor Jane Pirkis, 
University of Melbourne
Professor Jane Pirkis, University of Melbourne
Professor George Patton,
University of Melbourne
Professor George Patton, University of Melbourne
Dr John Oliffe, 
University of British Columbia
Dr John Oliffe, University of British Columbia
Professor Nicola Reavley,
University of Melbourne
Professor Nicola Reavley, University of Melbourne
Professor Cathy Mihalopoulos,
Deakin University
Professor Cathy Mihalopoulos, Deakin University
Professor Anthony Lamontagne,
Deakin University
Professor Anthony Lamontagne, Deakin University
Associate Professor Simon Rice,
Orygen, University of Melbourne
Associate Professor Simon Rice, Orygen, University of Melbourne
Dr Zac Seidler, 
Movember, Orygen, University of Melbourne
Dr Zac Seidler, Movember, Orygen, University of Melbourne
Dr Kylie King, 
University of Melbourne
Dr Kylie King, University of Melbourne
Dr Stewart Vella,
University of Wollongong
Dr Stewart Vella, University of Wollongong

Associate Investigators

Dr Amy Morgan,
University of Melbourne
Dr Amy Morgan, University of Melbourne
Dr Tania King,
University of Melbourne
Dr Tania King, University of Melbourne
Dr Dianne Currier,
University of Melbourne
Dr Dianne Currier, University of Melbourne
Professor Sandra Eades,
University of Melbourne
Professor Sandra Eades, University of Melbourne
Mr Bernard Leckning,
Menzies School of Health Research
Mr Bernard Leckning, Menzies School of Health Research
Professor James Ogloff,
Swinburne University of Technology
Professor James Ogloff, Swinburne University of Technology
Professor Andrea Phelps,
University of Melbourne
Professor Andrea Phelps, University of Melbourne
Associate Professor Jo Robinson,
Orygen
Associate Professor Jo Robinson, Orygen
Associate Professor Matthew Spittal,
University of Melbourne
Associate Professor Matthew Spittal, University of Melbourne
Dr Jaelea Skehan OAM,
Everymind
Dr Jaelea Skehan OAM, Everymind

Project Coordinator: Justine Fletcher

Universities

University of Melbourne
University of Melbourne
Monash University
Monash University
University of Wollongong
University of Wollongong
Deakin University
Deakin University
University of British Columbia
University of British Columbia
Orygen
Orygen

Partners

Tomorrow Man
Tomorrow Man
Gotcha4Life
Gotcha4Life
Movember Foundation
Movember Foundation
MATES
MATES
Mental Health First Aid Australia
Mental Health First Aid Australia
Victorian Men’s Shed Association
Victorian Men’s Shed Association
Heiress Films
Heiress Films
Everymind
Everymind
Lifeline Australia
Lifeline Australia
Mantle Health
Mantle Health
Suicide Prevention Australia
Suicide Prevention Australia
Australian Psychological Society
Australian Psychological Society
Australian Men’s Health Forum
Australian Men’s Health Forum
Stop Male Suicide
Stop Male Suicide