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.
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.