Methods: We outline the protocol for a stepped-wedge, cluster randomized controlled trial. Following a 6-month transition phase, the trial sites will move to the 2-year active implementation phase in 4-monthly intervals with evaluation extending a minimum of 24 months after establishment of the full active period. Analysis will be undertaken of the change attributable to the invention across the four sites. The primary outcome for the study is the rate of attempted suicide in the regions involved. Rate of suicide deaths within each site is a secondary outcome.
Discussion: If proven effective, the LifeSpan model for suicide prevention could be more widely delivered in Australian communities, providing a valuable new approach to tackle rising suicide rates. LifeSpan has the potential to significantly contribute to the mental health of Australians by improving help-seeking for suicide, facilitating early detection, and improving aftercare to reduce re-attempts. The findings from this research should also contribute to the evidence base for multilevel suicide prevention programs internationally.
Trial registration: Australia New Zealand Clinical Trials Register, ID: ACTRN12617000457347. Prospectively registered on 28 March 2017. https://www.anzctr.org.au/TrialSearch.aspx#&&conditionCode=&dateOfRegistrationFrom=&interventionDescription=&interventionCodeOperator=OR&primarySponsorType=&gender=&distance=&postcode=&pageSize=20&ageGroup=&recruitmentCountryOperator=OR Protocol Version: 1.0, 31 May 2019.