Great South Coast Suicide Prevention Place Based Trial

The Great South Coast Place Based Suicide Prevention Trial aims to deliver coordinated and collaborative strategies for reducing the rate of death by suicide. It is one of two such trials underway in western Victoria.


The Victorian Suicide Prevention Framework 2016-25 offers a coordinated approach to reducing the suicide toll. Victoria’s Primary Health Networks are leading the response to this framework through 12 place-based strategies to suicide prevention. The Great South Coast trial is one of these 12 collaborative responses, acknowledging that the places where people live and spend time affects their health and wellbeing. Part of WVPHN’s mental health funding from the Federal Government has been allocated to the trial.

  • Reduce the rates of suicide
  • Reduce suicide attempts
  • Improve individual resilience and wellbeing
  • Improve systems to prevent suicide in an ongoing way.

The Great South Coast trial is collaborative approach. It is steered by a leadership group compromising community organisations, volunteers and people with lived experience.

A set of recommended priority areas were identified drawing from:

  • an analysis of existing support services in the Great South Coast area and identifying gaps
  • community and stakeholder consultation including with service providers and people with a lived experience of suicide, suicidality, and bereavement from suicide.

Those priority areas were then used as the basis for developing the activities listed below


As part of the trial, a series of complementary activities have been identified and are now in the process of being developed and/or delivered. Each activity will be monitored and evaluated against a shared outcomes framework.

Connect Back resources package

The Connect Back project involves producing a community resource of key local networks and groups that provide formal and informal community-based support for people at risk of suicide.

Young men’s health and wellbeing

In conjunction with headspace, this project targets 18 to 25-year-old men. It involves consultation and awareness-raising sessions to:

Better understand their risks and vulnerabilities relating to risk of suicide and

Support and engage the wider community recognising and responding to young men at risk of suicide.

Men’s health and wellbeing

Focusing on men 26 years and older, the project will offer mental health education and welfare support programs to 12 organisations in the Great South Coast area. Under the coordination of Outside the Locker Room, the project will also help mental health planning for the region and draw on key data on male vulnerability and resilience to suicide.

Farmer health and wellbeing

Deakin University’s National Centre for Farmer Health will collaborate with the community – including the members of the farming community – to develop a model for delivering peer-supported evidence based psychological therapy to farmers experiencing depression or distress.

Youth health and wellbeing

Live4Life will develop a ‘How to’ guide for peer-to-peer mentoring. Young people will be supported and encouraged to champion the initiative alongside positive mental health messages in their schools and communities. The guide will be among a suite of upcoming activities designed to help young people’s health and wellbeing.

Improving general practice capacity

General practices in the Great South Coast region will be invited to participate in a review of their understanding of and capacity and capabilities for working with people at risk of suicide. It will include an analysis of GP professional development needs; barriers, gaps and opportunities; and how to incorporate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural awareness.

Trial partners and supporters

The Great South Coast Place Based Suicide Prevention Trial community-led Leadership Group includes representatives from:

  • Ambulance Victoria
  • AFL Country – Western District
  • BROPHY Child and Family Services
  • Corangamite Shire Council
  • Glenelg Shire Council
  • headspace
  • Let’s Talk Foundation
  • Lifeline
  • Live4Life
  • National Centre for Farmer Health
  • Rural Financial Counselling Service
  • South West Health Care
  • South West Primary Care Partnerships
  • St John of God
  • Victoria Police
  • Wellways
  • Western District Health Service
  • Youth Affairs Council Victoria

Seeking urgent help

If you, or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 000, visit your nearest hospital emergency or use any of the crisis helplines:

Last modified: 27 August, 2020