LifeSpan: building community safety nets

Posted 23rd April 2018

LifeSpan is a new, evidence-based approach to suicide prevention developed by the Black Dog Institute. It involves implementing nine strategies that have strong evidence for suicide prevention at the same time in one localised area. Taking a community-led approach, LifeSpan encompasses health, education, frontline services, business and the community at large.

LifeSpan aims to build a safety net for the community by connecting and coordinating new and existing interventions and programs, and building the capacity of the community to better support people facing a suicide crisis.

Based on scientific modelling, it’s predicted that LifeSpan could prevent 21 per cent of suicide deaths and 30 per cent of suicide attempts in the implemented region.

LifeSpan represents Australia’s largest scientific suicide prevention research trial, and is currently being implemented and evaluated by the Black Dog Institute in Newcastle, Illawarra Shoalhaven, Central Coast and Murrumbidgee. 

Two of the four NSW LifeSpan sites – Newcastle and Illawarra Shoalhaven – have now officially launched, with Central Coast in early implementation stage and Murrumbidgee due to start implementation in April 2018. 

The LifeSpan team is also providing support and advice to 12 additional sites across Australia as part of the Commonwealth government-funded National Suicide Prevention Trials. Led by Primary Health Networks across Australia, these trials focus on targeted suicide prevention activities based on local needs and at-risk populations. Black Dog Institute’s LifeSpan team are sharing best practice insights from their work in NSW to provide flexible support in guiding the rollout of these trials.

To learn more about LifeSpan, visit the Black Dog Insititute website.

If you have a program, service or resource that you’d like to share with the suicide prevention community, let us know!

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