Evaluation of suicide prevention activities

10.6 Summary of key findings

Page last updated: January 2014

Economic analysis
Project expenditure

Economic analysis

  • A detailed independent economic assessment of the cost of suicide and attempted suicide in Australia is needed to help inform future investment decisions.

Project expenditure

  • Service provision (65%) and information provision (23%), account for 88% of project expenditure.
  • The cost per hour of service provision varies across projects.
  • Projects that provide relatively more hours of service tend to have a lower cost per hour. This may demonstrate greater efficiency by these projects, or other factors such as data accuracy or the different types of services delivered.
  • Projects that spend relatively more time on travel and event/activity planning, tend to have a higher overall cost per hour of service, ie, travel and event/activity planning appear to be key drivers of cost.


  • More than half (56%) of projects received no additional funds other than NSPP funding.
  • Where non-NSPP funds were received, they were typically from private, philanthropic sources and donations and represented a very small proportion of total project funding/income.
  • Only two projects received additional funding from a state/territory government.
  • 65% of projects did not have the assistance of any volunteers, ie, all workers were paid staff.
  • The vast majority of projects did not believe that their project would be sustainable without continued NSPP funding.


  • Projects reported high levels of satisfaction with regards to the level of communication and responsiveness of the DoHA office responsible for the administration of their project
  • Suggestions for improving DoHA administration of projects included:
    • Improved contract management, eg, speedier notification of contact awards and greater engagement of DoHA contract managers with projects
    • More streamlined reporting that is less repetitive and more inclusive of project activities
    • Greater security in data storage so that resubmission of data is not required.
  • A potential improvement identified by STO and CO staff was that they undertake site visits to funded organisations in order to better understand the work of these projects. This was seen as particularly valuable given the relatively high turnover of STO staff and consequent absence of corporate knowledge.
  • STO and CO staff believed that the DoHA National Alignment (DNA) changes will lead to more efficient administration of the NSPP projects; however these benefits have not yet been realised.