Evaluation of suicide prevention activities

2 Introduction

Page last updated: January 2014

Australian Healthcare Associates (AHA) was appointed by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) in May 2012, to undertake the Development and Implementation of an Evaluation Framework for Suicide Prevention Activities (the Evaluation). The Evaluation pertains to activities funded under the National Suicide Prevention Program (NSPP) between 2006 and 2013 and selected elements of the Taking Action to Tackle Suicide (TATS) package, details of which are provided in later sections of the report.

This Report presents an analysis of NSPP-funded project activities from 2006-13. This chapter sets out the following:

  1. Contextualising the final report within the overall evaluation
  2. Evaluation questions addressed in the report
  3. Scope of the report

2.1 Contextualising the final report within the overall evaluation

This final report is a subset of Stage 3 of a three-stage Evaluation:
  • Stage 1: Development of an Evaluation Framework
  • Stage 2: Mid-term quantitative and qualitative assessment of NSPP projects funded from 2006-07 to 2010-11
  • Stage 3: Implementation of the Evaluation Framework and assessment of projects funded from 2006-07 to 2012-13, and development of this Final Evaluation Report.
Overall, this three-stage Evaluation had two broad objectives:
  • Evaluate existing activity under the NSPP and new activities funded under the 2010 TATS package, in order to determine the appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency of these activities within the broader policy context
  • Inform the evidence base for future policy direction and implementation of suicide prevention activity and to create and put in place a comprehensive evaluation framework for ongoing use.
Throughout this Evaluation, an advisory group provided critical feedback regarding the direction of the evaluation, the components of the evaluation framework and evaluation findings. The advisory group comprised the following members.

    Table 2-1: Advisory Group

    Professor Ian W. WebsterChair – ASPAC
    Professor Jane PirkisUniversity of Melbourne
    Barbara HockingASPAC member, former CEO of SANE
    Associate Professor Maggie JamiesonFormer ASPAC member and CEO of Lifeline
    Associate Professor in Public Health, University of Canberra
    Professor Graham MartinUniversity of Queensland
    Noel MullerConsumer representative on National Suicide Prevention Working Group
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2.2 Evaluation questions

Key evaluation questions related to program appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency were developed for the overall Evaluation. These questions are shown in Appendix B.

2.3 Scope of this final report

This final report focuses on 49 national and local projects funded through the NSPP/TATS package between 2006-07 and 2012-13. A list of these projects is provided in Appendix A, along with a summary of each individual project. All 49 projects were funded at June 2011 and two subsequently ceased to receive funding. NSPP/TATS funding to all projects totalled $120.1 million between 2006-07 and 2012-13, of which the 49 projects evaluated received $96.8 million (81%).

Funding is provided through the NSPP for community-based projects that deliver activities at a local and national level, and other national core activities that have a whole-of-population focus. As part of the NSPP funding appropriation, funding was also allocated to several projects that indirectly support the ongoing delivery of other projects/activities funded under the NSPP. These include funding to support the broader alignment of suicide prevention activity nationally. These alignment activities have their own evaluation data collection processes. Where necessary and as appropriate, the NSPP Evaluation has been able to access such processes.