LifeSpan - Integrated Suicide Prevention

Suicide Prevention remains a priority of the ACT Government, which has committed $1.545 million to establish a trial of the Black Dog Institute’s LifeSpan Integrated Suicide Prevention Framework.


In Australia, suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged 15-44 years.

In the ACT, the number of people who have died by suicide has increased significantly. This is worrying and we as a community need to do something about it.

Suicide Prevention remains a priority of the ACT Government, which has committed $1.545 million to establish a trial of the Black Dog Institute’s LifeSpan Integrated Suicide Prevention Framework.

LifeSpan will be implemented in the ACT over the next three years under the ‘Better care when you need it’ Suicide Prevention Budget Measure. It is a new, evidence-based approach to integrated suicide prevention in Australia. It combines nine strategies that have strong evidence for suicide prevention into one community-led approach incorporating health, education, frontline services, business and the community.

LifeSpan will introduce new and effective suicide prevention community training programs, schools programs, and community awareness campaigns in the ACT, and will enable improved data reporting capability on the incidence of suicide. It will also work with health services to enhance service provision, and with the media to ensure appropriate reporting of suicide-related incidences in the ACT.

LifeSpan aims to build a safety net for the community by connecting and coordinating new and existing interventions and programs, and building the capacity of the community to better support people facing suicide crisis.

The LifeSpan trial will involve the simultaneous implementation of nine evidence based strategies, with that aim to reduce suicidal behaviours and the death. The strategies include:

  • Improving emergency and follow-up care for suicidal crisis
  • Using evidence-based treatment for suicidality
  • Equipping primary care to identify and support people in distress
  • Improving the competency and confidence of frontline workers to deal with suicidal crisis
  • Training the community to recognise and respond to suicidality
  • Promoting help-seeking, mental health, and resilience in schools
  • Engaging the community and providing opportunities to be part of the change
  • Encouraging safe and purposeful media reporting, and
  • Improving safety and reducing access to means of suicide.
LifeSpan: an evidence-based, integrated approach to suicide prevention developed by the Black Dog Institute.

The LifeSpan Integrated Suicide Prevention Framework has been developed by Black Dog Institute and the National Health and Medical Research Council Centre for Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention.

There are four LifeSpan trials currently being implemented in New South Wales. These trials are being led by the Primary Health Networks with support of the NSW Ministry of Health and other partner organisations.  ACT LifeSpan will be the fifth trial site, coordinated by ACT Health.

One of the ways you can get involved in ACT LifeSpan is by attending the ACT Suicide Prevention Collaboratives.

For further information, visit LifeSpan, or contact the Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing on 6205 2920 or

Download the Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing LifeSpan Flyer [PDF] 

Question Persuade Refer

An important part of suicide prevention is knowing what to do when someone needs help.

As a part of ACT LifeSpan, ACT Health is encouraging all Canberrans to undertake Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) training. It’s an evidence based online training program developed by the QPR Institute in collaboration with Black Dog Institute, and supported by Capital Health Network.

You don’t need to be a mental health professional to complete QPR training. It has been developed for people with no assumed knowledge of mental health or suicide prevention. It could help you to save a life.

QPR training can help you respond positively to someone exhibiting suicide warning signs and behaviours. It will provide you with knowledge, skills and confidence to:
•    identify warning signs that someone may be suicidal
•    talk to someone who is having suicidal thoughts
•    connect someone in need of help with professional care.

Delivered through a mixture of videos, written content and quizzes, the web-based course covers:
•    common myths and misconceptions about suicide
•    warning signs of suicide
•    how to ask someone whether they are experiencing suicidal ideation, and
•    how to persuade someone to stay alive.

It will take approximately one hour to complete the training. This can be done over multiple sessions, if needed. Once you’ve finished QPR you can continue to access the program for 3 years to refresh your skills and knowledge.

Visit the Capital Health Network’s website to learn more and access the training.

Please note: You will be directed to a website and asked to enter your email address to download the program. You’ll then be sent a confirmation email with a training code, user name and password, and URL to start the training.


If you or someone you know struggles with mental health issues or feels overwhelmed, please remember you are not alone.

There are many people and services that can give you help and support:

Page last updated on: 23 Oct 2019