Area Level Implementation of CfL - Survey (July 2019)

Area Level Implementation of Connecting for Life

Findings of a Survey - Implementation Enablers - July 2019

This paper summarises the findings from a survey of key stakeholders involved in the implementation of CfL area-level suicide prevention action plans.


In response to Action 2.1.1 of Connecting for Life (CfL), Ireland’s National Strategy to Reduce Suicide 2015-2020, HSE Mental Health led out on the development of 17 ‘consistent multi-agency suicide prevention action plans’ across the country, in order to enhance and support local communities’ capacity to prevent and respond to suicide. The implementation of these suicide prevention action plans involves a myriad of implementation teams, all with a shared vision of ‘An Ireland where fewer lives are lost through suicide and where communities and individuals are empowered to improve their mental health and wellbeing’.

Towards the end of Q4, 2018, the HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention’s (NOSP) Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Team, as part of the evaluation of the implementation of CfL, set out to identify the extent to which evidence informed ‘implementation enablers’ are present as part of the implementation of the 17 local area CfL plans. To this end, all relevant stakeholders were invited to take part in a survey and share their reflection on their experience to date. This document summarises the key findings from this point in time survey. 

Key Points

  • In December 2018 all key stakeholders (n= 450) involved in an area-level CfL implementation structure (i.e. either on a CfL implementation oversight group and/or a CfL working group) across 14 CfL suicide prevention action plans were invited to take part in a survey and share their reflections on implementation. 
  • While the response rate was very low (at 25%) there were enough valid (completed) responses (n=110) to report on. It is important to note however, that there may be a nonresponse bias.
  • Survey evidence indicates the presence of key enablers associated with successful implementation including: stakeholder engagement (via oversight and/or working groups), leadership engagement, the presence of implementation plans to guide the work and implementation teams to ‘do’ the work informed by feedback from an implementation monitoring system.
  • However, some stakeholders were not confident that there were available resources over a multi-year period to support the implementation of CfL – this in part, may be due to the HSE annual budgeting systems. 
  • There is evidence that more could be done to ensure that there are clear champions to drive the work of CfL locally. Capacity building for the implementation teams (i.e. oversight and working groups) would help ensure successful implementation of CfL.  Furthermore, communication flow between the national and local structures could to be improved upon.

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