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Best Practice Guidance for Suicide Prevention Services - Survey (Sept 2018)

Best Practice Guidance for Suicide Prevention Services

Findings of a Survey - September 2018


Connecting for Life (CfL) is Ireland’s national, coordinated, multifaceted strategy to reduce deaths by suicide 2015-2020. Strategic Goal 5 of this strategy seeks to ensure safe and high quality services for people vulnerable to suicide. A key Action (5.1.1) under this goal is to ‘Develop quality standards for suicide prevention services provided by statutory and non-statutory organisations, and implement the standards through an appropriate structure’.

CfL currently has approximately twenty-three funded non-governmental partner organisations (NGOs) and projects. Between December 2017 and January 2018, the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) team in the HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP) conducted a survey with these funded partners and other non-funded organisations working in the area of suicide prevention. The survey sought to assess respondents’ current understanding, perceptions towards, and readiness to engage with the implementation of the Best Practice Guidance (BPG) for Suicide Prevention Services and other Governance Frameworks. This document summarises the key findings from this survey.

Key Points

  • The survey in relation to the implementation of the Best Practice Guidance (BPG) for Suicide Prevention Services was administered between December 2017 and January 2018, which resulted in 91% (21 out of 23) of the NGO partner organisations and projects being represented, with over half of those (54% (n=27)) invited to complete the survey doing so.
  • The majority of survey respondents were senior members of staff in their respective organisations. This is evidenced by the findings that almost half of survey respondents (48%) reported that they are the Manager in their organisation, 22% reported that they are the CEO, and 11% reported that they are a Staff Member.
  • The work of the funded NGO partner organisations and projects, and the non-funded organisations working in the field of suicide prevention typically falls under three categories, as follows: The majority of respondents reported that they worked in the area of Suicide Prevention (41%), followed by those working in Suicide Intervention (34%) and Suicide Postvention (25%).
  • The scope and scale of the different NGO organisations, partners and non-funded organisationswas evidenced by the large variation in the number of paid staff in organisations, which ranged between 1 and 262.
  • All NGO partner organisations, projects and non-funded organisations reported current involvement with one or more governance structures. The top Governance Framework that those surveyed stated they are currently engaged with is the Code of Governance (96%), followed by the Charity Regulator (89%).
  • Survey respondents reported that ‘Training and commitment of board members and staff’, ‘Support, training and resources from the Wheel’, and ‘Time and additional resources' have helped them to implement their current Governance Frameworks.
  • In relation to the implementation of the BPG for Suicide Prevention Services, findings revealed that the majority of respondents were in agreement about the ‘Need’, ‘Fit’, and ‘Organisational and Leadership Support’ available for the implementation of these guidance. There was slightly less agreement around the availability of ‘Resources’.

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