Year: 2009 Source: Australian Journal for the Advancement of Mental Health, v.8, no.1, (2009), p.1-9 SIEC No: 20090221

The current study sought to inform priority setting in Australian suicide prevention research, by seeking stakeholdersÕ views on where future priorities might lie. Three group interviews were conducted with a total of 28 participants. Group interview participants stressed that priority should be given to evaluating the efficacy of specific interventions and examining the response of the health and community service systems. They felt that the epidemiological profile of suicidal individuals had been explored, at least with respect to rates and individual-level risk factors, and that the above evaluative activities should focus on groups identified as having particularly high levels of risk. Most saw limited value in continuing to explore individual-level risk factors ad infinitum, and felt that the time had come to move on to considering wider societal influences on suicide and individual-level protective factors. Many felt that evaluation efforts should employ mixed methods, should be multidisciplinary and should be relevant to the Australian context. They also argued that there was scope for increasing the utility of research findings by communicating them in a manner that would enable them to be utilised by policy-makers, planners and practitioners. Several called for a more cohesive framework for suicide prevention that could guide suicide prevention research. The current study provides some guidance with respect to the direction AustraliaÕs suicide prevention research agenda should take. A prioritydriven approach to suicide prevention research will ensure that the research endeavour provides the most useful information for those whose day-to-day work involves trying to prevent suicide.