While outcome measurement using validated tools is a new venture for most projects, outcome measurement of suicide prevention activities has been a focus of international and Australian efforts for some time.
Internationally this includes the WHO's Towards Evidence-based Suicide Prevention Programmes108, and, in Australia, Outcomes and indicators, measurement tools and databases for the National Action Plan for Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention for Mental Health 2000.109 Mitchell and Lewis' A Manual to Guide the Development of Local Evaluation Plans was specifically designed to assist in the evaluation of the LIFE Framework.110 Each of these publications provide a list of potential indicators and possible outcome measurement tools and thus serves as a useful starting point for addressing outcome measurement in the NSPP going forward. The LIFE website includes a list of program evaluation resources that could also assist with this process.
It is important to acknowledge the need for the inclusion and/or development of culturally appropriate outcome measurement tools, particularly for projects that work with CALD and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.
108 World Health Organization, Towards Evidence-based Suicide Prevention Programmes, World Health Organization, Geneva, 2010.
109 Department of Health and Ageing, Outcomes and indicators, measurement tools and databases for the National Action Plan for Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention for Mental Health 2000, report developed by SH Spence, M Donald, J Dower, R Woodward & P Lacherez, School of Psychology and Centre for Primary Health Care, University of Queensland for DoHA, Canberra, 2002.
110 Department of Health and Ageing, A Manual to Guide the Development of Local Evaluation Plans: evaluating initiatives within the LIFE Framework using a program logic approach, report prepared by P Mitchell, & V Lewis, Canberra, 2003.