Overall, high levels of community acceptance were reported by the project representatives, with the majority (89%) rating it as either four or five on the Likert scale provided (Table 5-9). Five projects reported lower scores of two or three. These latter projects were either based in the healthcare sector or in local community settings. Of these, one of the healthcare sector projects reported low levels of acceptance within the professional community. Conversely, the other reported high levels of acceptance within the professional community but noted that the project was not designed to target the general community. Projects directed at the general community that scored poorly reported lack of community acceptance of suicide as a reality in the community or a reticence to address suicide as an issue because of 'collective grief' as the main reason for poor community acceptance.
Projects that were well accepted by the community tended to be those that serviced areas or communities where there was strong awareness of suicide as a problem, and in which the projects were perceived to be providing a necessary and valued service. Evidence for strong community acceptance cited by project representatives included high levels of uptake of resources or training, referrals to services from a range of sources, and feedback from service users on the appropriateness and value of the services. Several organisations attributed the level of community acceptance they received to the length of time they had been operating in the community.