Department of Health

A guide to local suicide prevention

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A new guide for mental health and wellbeing services and organisations will provide strategies for delivering place-based suicide prevention programs for local communities.  

The guide draws on the success of the Victorian place-based suicide prevention trials, which ran from 2016 until June 2022. 

About the Victorian place-based suicide prevention trials 

The aim of the trials was to prevent and respond to suicide in 12 communities across the state. The 12 trial locations were Ballarat, Bass Coast / South Gippsland, Benalla, Greater Dandenong / Southern Melbourne Area, Frankston-Mornington Peninsula, the Great South Coast, Latrobe Valley, Macedon Ranges, Maroondah, Melton-Brimbank, Mildura and Whittlesea. 

The approach brought together different parts of the community, including people with lived experience of suicide, community agencies, the Aboriginal Community Controlled sector, schools, businesses, local councils, transport, police, health services, ambulance and others to identify what was needed to prevent suicide and find solutions that would work for the local community. 

The trials expanded the evidence base about the risk and protective factors related to suicide, raised community awareness and understanding of suicide, and produced insights about how organisations and the Victorian Government can work together at a local level to design and develop coordinated responses.

They demonstrated the value of an integrated systems approach, delivery at a local level and timely sharing of new evidence between trial sites, and nationally. 

About the guide 

A guide to local suicide prevention: learning from the Victorian place-based suicide prevention trials outlines lessons and achievements of the 12 Victorian place-based suicide prevention trial sites, including the important contributions of people with lived experience of suicidality and bereavement as well as broader community members. 

The guide offers practical advice and information about ‘doing’ suicide prevention using grassroots, place-based approaches. It includes chapters dedicated to planning and partnerships, opportunities and challenges of specific suicide prevention strategies, as well as case studies and a summary of achievements from each individual site.  

Each chapter includes useful tips and checklists based on the experiences and learnings of those who worked across the 12 sites over the trials’ six years of operation. 

The guide is designed to make the lessons of the place-based trials available to anyone who is planning and implementing strategies to reduce suicide within their own local community. 

Download the guide 

The guide can be downloaded in PDF format (including diagrams and graphics) or accessible Doc format (with no graphics). 

Contact us 

If you have any questions about the guide or how to use it, feel free to contact the Suicide Prevention and Response Office: suicide.prevention@health.vic.gov.au.  

Reviewed 09 September 2022

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