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.
Development involved extensive collaboration and input from partners across the sector and lived experience representatives.
In December 2015, Black Dog Institute received an independent philanthropic grant from the Paul Ramsay Foundation to deliver LifeSpan in four sites in NSW and scientifically assess the impact of LifeSpan.
Representing a prevention focus, LifeSpans ultimate goal is suicide prevention and supporting people to live full, contributing lives.
Based on the most up-to-date evidence available and drawing from positive results of similar, large-scale suicide prevention programs overseas, this integrated systems approach is expected to prevent 21% of suicide deaths, and 30% of suicide attempts.
LifeSpan involves the implementation of nine evidence-based strategies from population level to the individual, implemented simultaneously within a localised region. For successful delivery, all strategies require a thorough consultation and review process to ensure their relevance and tailoring to the local context and community.
Multiple strategies = more lives saved
Recognising that multiple strategies implemented at the same time are likely to generate bigger effects than just the sum of its parts (i.e., due to synergistic effects). LifeSpan offers a data driven, evidence-based approach, setting it apart from current practise and raising the bar in suicide prevention.