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SRAA's Mission


Provide high quality service to practitioners working in settings in which they are likely to encounter clients experiencing suicidal ideation, suicidal behaviour or bereavement of suicide. Ultimately, our mission is to support practitioners in this work, to facilitate clients’ change towards living meaningful and purposeful lives, with satisfaction and joy. In this way, we believe we will eliminate the choice of suicide and self injury from peoples’ lives and enrich, develop and support re-engagement in our wider community. We support the national target of making meaningful and sustainable reductions in the rate of suicide in Australia.

Is our mission in line with your own values?

SRAA's Strategies

  • Develop and maintain strong collaborative approaches with practitioners across and within disciplines in ensuring training, supervision and support is meeting identified needs; personal, organisational and community/population level needs.

  • Foster and promote the value of lived experience based research into evidence based service delivery.

  • Ensure SRAA are at the forefront in disseminating latest research and information in the field of suicidology; through newsletters offering commentary, discussion forums, supervision, consultation and workshop delivery.

  • Support those organisations demonstrating a commitment to the provision of best practice services across the sector (research, community, health etc.) where we all work together to achieve common goals in reducing rates of suicide.

  • Challenging entrenched stigma, bias and maladaptive approaches to the assessment and management of suicidal behaviours and self injury whilst concurrently promoting hope, meaning and purpose in lives affected by suicide to proactive practice strategies. 

  • Challenging existing processes/systems involving psychological/psychiatric assessment which may fail to adequately or appropriately assess the risk for suicide/self injury whilst concurrently supporting improvement in those practices/systems.

    Let us know if you think there are other ways that we can achieve our mission!


  • SRAA's commitment to "Best Practice" or "Evidence Based Practice"

    What is "best practice" or "evidence based practice"?

    "Evidence-based practice in psychology (EBPP) is the integration of the best available research with clinical expertise in the context of patient characteristics, culture, and preferences." (American Psychological Association (APA), August, 2005).

    The APA state that "...the purpose of EBPP is to promote effective psychological practice and enhance public health by applying empirically supported principles of psychological assessment, case formulation, therapeutic relationship, and intervention."

    In Australia, there is no governing or regulatory body to date to make such a comment about "best practice" in psychology. Whilst there are documents that relate to "best practice treatments" for various psychological conditions (eg. PTSD), general positions on what is "best practice" for psychology and indeed the assessment and management of suicidality have not yet been made explicit. Regardless, it appears to be a catch cry from many practitioners and organisations.

    SRAA endorse the APAs definition of evidence based psychological practice.


    How does SRAA define "best practice" in suicide risk assessment?

    Best practice suicide risk assessment includes the analysis and evaluation of psychological symptoms, behaviours, expressed and implied suicidal intent in the context of psycho-social, cultural, community, educational, physical/health and existential pressures (not exhaustive) and lived experience/history. This assessment includes but is not limited to psychological/psychiatric clinical assessment utilising a validated suicide risk assessment protocol, psychometric screening tools and interviews with third parties (such as general practitioners and other treating professionals, family members, friends, teachers or colleagues). For some communities (particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander/LGBTIQ), a broader acknowledgement of family and/or community pressures requires broader consultation and consideration to understand how and why the risk has emerged and presented in the manner it has.

    Not only should the tools, measures, protocols and clinical approach undertaken demonstrate evidence based efficacy with quality research principles, they should also demonstrate respect for the client's psycho-social-cultural orientation. Furthermore, the administration of such a process is only of value when each factor is considered and weighted against the whole-of-client position, whereby the formulation is a wholistic assessment of risk, entirely personalised and unique to that individual.

    Suicide Risk Assessment is not a clinically driven "formula" applied to the client, a "tick the box" framework or based on "gut reaction".

    Ten ways that SRAA demonstrate that we stand behind this principle and standard

    How do we demonstrate that we are at the forefront when the benchmark has not been made explicit?

  1. Firstly and most personally, as Director, Carmen Betterridge has completed a Masters of Suicidology, through the Australian Institute of Suicide Research and Prevention (AISRAP) hosted by Griffith University. AISRAP is a National Centre of Excellence in Suicide Prevention. Carmen oversees all SRAA activities and continues to attend conferences and presentations on suicidology receiving latest journals and articles on suicidology ensuring she is up to date with all practice standards.

  2. SRAA utilises and promotes a number of assessment tools and methodologies developed and endorsed by AISRAP, including the RAST /STARS Protocol (Hawgood & De Leo 2015). International research in relation to practice principles including the Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS), developed and championed by David Jobes (2006) is also fully endorsed and promoted by SRAA, whereby there is strong evidence for efficacy both established and emerging. 

  3. SRAAs practice is located in Australian data/research where possible, referencing and acknowledging variations between Australian regions, populations and cultures, in line with the complexity of suicidality generally. Data is sourced from sound epidemiological research bases including the ABS, QSR and other government monitored and independent agencies. 

  4. All training manuals for workshops and activities are fully referenced and grounded in evidence obtained in peer reviewed articles, books, research and evidence adhering to "Quality Research Principles" (research design, methodology, validity, replication etc.), disseminating the latest data and findings to those engaged with SRAA. While there can be some contradictory information regarding suicidology data, models or practice between articles and findings, SRAA are clear to not provide opinion outside of the research findings.

  5. Various workshops have been endorsed by a number of professional bodies, including the Australian Association of Social Work and the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses following submission of these programs for review with these bodies. Such endorsements support the program as meeting professional benchmarks for education and practice.

  6. SRAA adheres to the Australian Psychological Society Code of Conduct, and Code of Ethics and specifically the Ethical Guidelines Relating to Clients at Risk of Suicide.

  7. Additionally, SRAA endorse and promote Suicide Prevention Australia's (SPA) multiple position statements and discussion papers which are written by leading professionals in the field, utilising a consultative process in their generation. SRAA also maintains and support recommendations emerging from SPAs discussion papers in addition to other leading organisations producing quality documents, being an active participant in the consultation process generating such documents.

  8. Furthermore, there is something very strong to be said for the value of lived experience and understanding the stories and lives of those having experienced suicidality, through their own suffering or that of a loved one; something which to date has been poorly researched and validated. Where possible, such evidence is included in SRAAs work. Any detail or information offered that has emerged from lived experience or anecdotal account is explicitly indicated as such.

  9. Despite providing the best information available, latest data or validated strategies for the assessment and management of suicidality, there is a responsibility of the practitioner to encompass this information into their practice not merely to be present in training. Changes in attitudes or practice around suicide risk assessment and management towards the above mentioned best practice approach is the ultimate goal of SRAA whereby we utilise interactive learning strategies and techniques to maximise this.

  10. Finally, all workshops include pre and post workshop assessment of learning, where participants' have the capacity to identify their learning needs to maximise potential behavioural change which is in and of itself an optimal or "best practice" approach to learning.


Overall, SRAA are committed to living the "best practice catch cry" and can prove this through our actions detailed above.


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