The NSPP provides funding to support broad population-wide health approaches that are proven to be effective, as well as targeted interventions to groups identified at heightened risk of suicide.
AHA evaluated activities funded under the National Suicide Prevention Program (NSPP) and selected elements of the Taking Action to Tackle Suicide (TATS) package over the seven-year period from 2006-07 to 2012-13.
Funding totalled $120.1 million from 2006-07 to 2012-13, and the evaluation focused on 49 ongoing national and local projects directly aimed at reducing suicide, which received $96.8 million (81%) over this period.
The final report was produced by AHA in 2014 and is available on the Department of Health website.
The evaluation employed a mixed methods approach, using both quantitative and qualitative data sources to:
- Assess the appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency of suicide prevention activities within the broader policy context
- Inform the evidence base for future suicide prevention policy direction and implementation, including creating a comprehensive evaluation framework for ongoing use.
AHA delivered the evaluation in three stages:
- Development of the Evaluation Framework – for use in Stage 3 of the consultancy and on an ongoing basis.
- Mid-term quantitative and qualitative assessment of NSPP funded projects. This stage reviewed and analysed all NSPP funded projects to assess their appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency.
- Implementation of the Evaluation Framework and assessment of NSPP funded projects. This included collection and analysis of evaluation data through survey, workshops with service providers and online MDS submission by services from September 2012 to May 2013, followed by comprehensive reporting to government and key stakeholders.
Information sources included:
- Extensive literature review, which enabled project activities to be considered in light of the evidence for best practice
- Project specific documentation and data, including funding agreements, reports, and internal and external evaluations
- Online project survey developed by AHA, comprising a mix of closed questions, rating scales and open-ended text responses
- Workshop consultations with project representatives
- Consultations with key stakeholders including:
- State and territory government representatives responsible for developing and implementing suicide prevention strategies
- Peak body representatives
- Suicide prevention experts
- DoHA representatives responsible for administering NSPP-funded project activities.
- Published evaluations of the Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) Suicide Prevention service initiative and MindMatters
- Minimum Data Set (MDS) developed by AHA, data was submitted by 47 projects. This identified that 16,222 individual client contacts/activities and 2,428 group activities occurred over the six months to March 2013.
All information was systematically analysed, including thematic analysis of narrative data. Descriptive statistics were generated from the quantitative data analysis.
Following the evaluation, AHA was engaged by the Department to continue collecting, analysing and reporting MDS data submitted by funded services.