Independent evaluations vital to effectiveness of Live4Life youth mental health model

Posted 27th February 2024 in Sector news

Live4Life is a health promotion charity that aims to empower and support rural and regional communities to improve the mental health and prevent suicide in young people.

Live4Life uses a community-led model to support young people in Victorian regions deemed as high risk by the Victorian Government’s Suicide Response Strategy.

Previous research has highlighted that young people most commonly seek help from similarly aged people during tough times. Live4Life aims to increase the skills of young people and community members to support those experiencing mental health concerns and distress.

The Live4Life model:

  • Delivers accredited mental health first aid training in schools and community.
  • Creates local partnerships – between schools, councils, local services and community organisations (often in first time-ever collaborations) to lead community-wide conversations about mental health and suicide prevention.
  • Promotes young leaders as Mental Health Ambassadors.
  • Communities are provided with mentoring and support by Youth Live4Life to implement the Live4Life model and reach sustainability in their local community.

To date, more than 21,000 secondary students have received mental health education and over 2,400 adults have been trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid.

Live4Life recognises the value of independent evaluation to consolidate its evidence base and validating effectiveness. In January 2023 Live4Life partnered with the University of Melbourne to support evaluation of the charity’s activities. The first part of the evaluation project is a multi-community, multi-year external evaluation led by the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Mental Health and Communtiy Wellbeing and the ALIVE National Centre for Mental Health Research Translation, which is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Centre (NHMRC) Special Initiative into Mental Health. This evaluation will measure the extent to which Live4Life protects and promotes mental health and wellbeing in secondary school-aged young people, as well as what aspects of implementation contribute to mental health and wellbeing outcomes.

Live4Life is funded under Activity 6 of the National Suicide Prevention Leadership and Support Program to deliver mental health first aid training in Break O’Day, Tasmania, including a two-year independent evaluation of the trial, to be undertaken across 2023-25 by the Centre for Rural Health at the University of Tasmania. In addition, as a Social Impact Partner of Future Generation Global (FGG), Live4Life will be participating with 13 other organisations in an impact measurement framework until 2026. Combined with ‘Enabling Education’ funds secured from the William Buckland Foundation in 2023, Live4Life is preparing for a new suite of internal evaluation activities to be piloted in communities in 2024, with the goal to build community capacity for impact measurement in the longer term.

Visit Live4Life to learn more.

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