Evaluation of Alternatives to Suicide (Alt2Su) Project

responsibility to, not for or over people


Alternatives to suicide has, has made it okay for that [suicidal] part to exist and it’d be with me for my whole life. And that’s okay. So that’s the power of this stuff. And it’s made me okay.


About the Evaluation


Throughout 2022 and 2023 LELAN is implementing the Alternatives to Suicide (Alt2Su) approach in South Australia. To support this, LELAN has commissioned an evaluation of Alt2Su to understand:

      • How well has Alt2Su been implemented?
      • What difference has it made to people attending Alt2Su groups, and the service system?
      • How can implementation be improved?

Evaluation Findings


Overall, the findings have been overwhelmingly positive, with strong expressions of support for the Alt2Su approach itself, as well as for LELAN’s implementation of Alt2Su. There was widespread appreciation of Alt2Su’s philosophical underpinnings as well as the enactment of this approach in practice. Participants described Alt2Su groups offering space to speak freely about suicidality and life-difficulties without fear of a coercive response, and fostering connection, community and a reduction in shame and loneliness. Group attendees explore social determinants, make meaning and build human connection, and their relationship to suicidality shifted, rather than being focused on “solutions”. The Alt2Su principle of responsibility tonot for or over was found to be particularly impactful, with this shift in mindset extending beyond Alt2Su groups into people’s professional and personal lives. Many participants contrasted Alt2Su with disempowering experiences in mainstream services, including risk-averse responses to disclosures of suicidality and escalation, foreclosing space to speak of distress and life-difficulties.



  1. That long term, ongoing funding opportunities for Alt2Su be sought, in partnership with existing funders and other stakeholders
  2. That LELAN foster more conversations to clarify emerging questions in relation to the Alt2Su approach, in the context of adaptations, sustainability and scalability
  3. That LELAN continue working relationally with funders, stakeholders and services to explore how Alt2Su can be embedded and scaled up, while attending closely to the potential risk of co-option
  4. That Alt2Su training be updated
  5. That supports for facilitators continue to be expanded



We recognise that people accessing this Evaluation Report may be interested in the learnings from this evaluation of LELAN’s Alternatives to Suicide project, but not have capacity, time or interest to read a nearly-100-page report in full. Thus, these evaluation findings are available as:

  1. An infographic summarising some key learnings
  2. A “quick read” summary of the Final Report, condensed to 20 pages
  3. The full Final Report, structured with many headings and subjeadings, with the intention that people can easily skim to the sections that most interest them


Quick Read Summary

Final Report

About the Evaluators

Flick Grey (she/her/we)

Flick’s work as a consumer academic, trainer and consultant interweaves her own lived experience of trauma, suicidality and extreme states, deep engagement with the international consumer/survivor movement and Mad Studies. She first trained in Alternatives to Suicide in 2017.

Flick loves being in wild spaces and navigating human messiness and complexity, which is fortunate as she also parents a toddler.

Sar Bostock (they/she/he)

Sar has worked as a peer worker, consumer consultant and evaluator, using their lived experience of distress and crisis alongside their experiences of physical disability and pain.

Sar is also a writer, and is never without their greyhound named Sago.

Jo Farmer (she/her)

Jo is an evaluator focused on improving experiences for people experiencing mental distress and trauma. She has done research in the health sector for over 10 years and has a particular interest in designing lived experience-led evaluations.

Jo has her own lived experience of suicidality and mental distress. She is originally from the UK and has recently appreciated being able to (finally) return to the UK to visit friends and family.

This project is made possible by financial support from Wellbeing SA, Country SA PHN Primary Health Network and Adelaide PHN Primary Health Network – including monetary contribution from LELAN.

The Alternatives to Suicide Groups Charter defines the principles and values of support groups using the Alternatives to Suicide approach: Responsibility to – and not for or over; Consent and choice; Responses to injustice; and Healing in communities.

Connect with LELAN team

If you have more questions reach out to the LELAN team via info@lelan.org.au or contact Tanya our Peer Project Worker (Suicide Prevention) via tanya@lelan.org.au .