Dynamic Simulation Modelling for Suicide Prevention

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In a new initiative, the Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network has partnered with Sax Institute and Hunter New England and Central Coast Local Health Districts to apply dynamic simulation modelling to suicide prevention across the region.

The process of simulation modelling is an emerging field in healthcare and provides a robust, evidence-based approach to suicide prevention. It acts as a ‘what if’ tool that utilises technology to test the effectiveness of interventions and services in a safe and low cost manner.

The development of the model draws on a wide range of evidence and data sources, including population survey data, systematic reviews, administrative data, lived experience and expert knowledge. This information has been collated to outline the pathways through mental health and community services and to identify a range of interventions which may work together to reduce the impact of suicide across the Hunter New England and Central Coast.


Multiple workshops were held as part of the process bringing together a range of diverse opinions and perspectives. Representatives from a wide range of sectors, including General Practice, mental health, community services, housing, education, CALD populations, LGBTQIA++, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and those with lived experience. The emphasis on a participatory model reflects the importance of “One Voice One Vision” by co-designing a unified approach to reduce suicide rates in our region.


The results of the project were presented at the Regional Decision Making for Suicide Prevention: A New Approach Symposium, held at Noah's on the Beach, Newcastle on 17 February, 2020. The symposium outlined the interventions shown to have the most significant effect on suicide rates, and demonstrated how various interventions interacted with each other to either amplify or diminish the overall impact.

The expected time frames for effect were explored, highlighting how the timing of an evaluation can affect the perception of success and effectiveness. The symposium also outlined the implications for commissioning services and explored the impact dynamic simulation modelling will have on service provision relating to suicide prevention in the Hunter, New England and Central Coast regions.

Several of the presentations from the symposium have been provided by the presenters. These may be downloaded and viewed from the 'Workshop Presentations' section on this site.




In a new initiative, the Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network has partnered with Sax Institute and Hunter New England and Central Coast Local Health Districts to apply dynamic simulation modelling to suicide prevention across the region.

The process of simulation modelling is an emerging field in healthcare and provides a robust, evidence-based approach to suicide prevention. It acts as a ‘what if’ tool that utilises technology to test the effectiveness of interventions and services in a safe and low cost manner.

The development of the model draws on a wide range of evidence and data sources, including population survey data, systematic reviews, administrative data, lived experience and expert knowledge. This information has been collated to outline the pathways through mental health and community services and to identify a range of interventions which may work together to reduce the impact of suicide across the Hunter New England and Central Coast.


Multiple workshops were held as part of the process bringing together a range of diverse opinions and perspectives. Representatives from a wide range of sectors, including General Practice, mental health, community services, housing, education, CALD populations, LGBTQIA++, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and those with lived experience. The emphasis on a participatory model reflects the importance of “One Voice One Vision” by co-designing a unified approach to reduce suicide rates in our region.


The results of the project were presented at the Regional Decision Making for Suicide Prevention: A New Approach Symposium, held at Noah's on the Beach, Newcastle on 17 February, 2020. The symposium outlined the interventions shown to have the most significant effect on suicide rates, and demonstrated how various interventions interacted with each other to either amplify or diminish the overall impact.

The expected time frames for effect were explored, highlighting how the timing of an evaluation can affect the perception of success and effectiveness. The symposium also outlined the implications for commissioning services and explored the impact dynamic simulation modelling will have on service provision relating to suicide prevention in the Hunter, New England and Central Coast regions.

Several of the presentations from the symposium have been provided by the presenters. These may be downloaded and viewed from the 'Workshop Presentations' section on this site.



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