National Suicide Prevention Trial

The National Suicide Prevention Trial took place in 12 Australian regions from 2016-17 to 2020-21. We funded Primary Health Networks (PHNs) in those regions to develop and implement a systems-based approach to suicide prevention at a local level for at-risk populations.

About the initiative

The National Suicide Prevention Trial supports organisations and services to work together to achieve local and long-term system change. As part of the 2021-22 Budget, we are providing funding for former trial sites to continue the delivery of local suicide prevention initiatives across Australia until 30 June 2022.

Trial locations include:

  • Darwin
  • the Kimberley
  • western New South Wales
  • mid-west Western Australia
  • Brisbane North
  • north coast of New South Wales
  • north-western Melbourne
  • Perth South
  • northern Queensland
  • Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast and Central Queensland
  • Tasmania
  • country South Australia.

Why it is important

Each year, about 3,000 Australians take their own lives. The suicide rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is about twice that of non-Indigenous Australians.

Suicide is a complex issue that affects every community in different ways. Causes vary, and so do the resources and services each community needs.

Through the trial, PHNs have developed suicide prevention activities specifically designed to meet the needs of priority populations in their region.


The trial aimed to:

  • better integrate and connect the suicide prevention system at the local level
  • develop local solutions to reduce suicides in regions with higher-than-average rates
  • improve the evidence base to help us develop future responses to suicide prevention in Australia.

Meeting our goals

From 2017 to 2020, the Australian Government funded the University of Melbourne to undertake an evaluation of the Trial, focusing on planning, implementation, impacts and outcomes. The evaluation identified that the Trial generated a wealth of new knowledge on:

  • effective strategies for planning regional suicide prevention activity
  • developing a coordinated systems approach to suicide prevention
  • issues facing at-risk populations in the community and how they might be addressed
  • the impacts of delivering a range of suicide prevention services and activities and the challenges and barriers to be resolved.

Who we work with

The PHNs in the 12 trial areas designed and delivered suicide prevention strategies for their area. The PHNs continue to assist with transition activities, support integration and sustainability of activities in their area.

The Black Dog Institute and the University of Melbourne supported the implementation and evaluation of the trials and provided expert advice to PHNs.

The Black Dog Institute continues to provide expert advice to PHNs.

Related documents


National Suicide Prevention Trial contact

Contact us for more information about the National Suicide Prevention Trial.
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