Annex B: Evaluation of the CF's Suicide Prevention Approach Against the US Air Force Suicide Prevention Program


InitiativeUSAF ActivitiesCorresponding CF Activities - CurrentCorresponding CF Activities - Recommended
Leadership involvement Regular messages delivered by USAF Chief of Staff on importance of suicide awareness, overcoming barriers to care, etc. "Be the Difference" campaign  
Dealing with suicide through professional military education Incorporate suicide prevention training into professional military education curricula through required training

Suicide awareness and skills training integrated into the mental health training for PLQ course for junior leaders

Information on services available integrated into pre- and post-deployment mental health training

Integration of suicide awareness and skills training into mental health education for all career courses
Guidelines for commander: use of mental health services Annual briefings to commanders included resources for referral to mental health, substance abuse, family advocacy, or emergency evaluation (as of 2003, resources accessible through AF website for commanders)

Outreach of mental health providers into military units

Public awareness campaigns for various programs, services (CFMAP, OSISS, etc.)

Integrate information on CF services into regular mental health education programming throughout career / deployment cycle

Assess knowledge / awareness of existing programs and services periodically and tailor awareness strategies / campaigns accordingly

Community preventive services Increase preventive services performed by mental health professionals (including increasing the number of mental health professionals per clinic 1 full time equivalent)

Tripling of mental health clinician FTE's over past five years

Regular outreach of clinicians into units

Development of Strengthening the Forces Mental Health and Wellbeing educational program

Development of Joint Speaker's Bureau for delivery of mental health education

Community education and training Required training at two levels for non-professionals in basic suicide factors, intervention skills, and referral procedures for people potentially at risk

Optional stand-alone suicide awareness / prevention training through Strengthening the Forces

Integration of suicide awareness into PLQ course, pre-deployment training, and post-deployment training

Continued integration of suicide awareness and prevention skills training into the rest of mental health education program career and deployment cycle
Investigative interview policy ("hands-off" policy) Investigators "hand-off" members to their chain of command after any investigative interview; chain of command assesses copoing, makes referrals as needed, etc. No consistent process Consider development of an analogous policy, given potential role of disciplinary action as suicide trigger 
Critical Incident Stress Management Teams developed to provide management of critical incidents CF Policy on Early Psychological Intervention advocates a more flexible approach to responding to potentially traumatic events (more in keeping with current literature)  
Standing subcommittee for "Integrated delivery system (IDS) for human services prevention" Establishment of seamless system of services across multidisciplinary human services prevention activities, which functions to provide centralised information and referral and collaborative marketing of preventive services Appears to be similar to the role of the CF Mental Health Advisory Committee  
Limited patient privilege Provided limited client-therapist confidentiality to suicidal individuals under investigation only Strong confidentiality protections for all patients - only medical employment limitations may be communicated to chain of command  
Behavioural health survey Tools for assessing behavioural health status of any unit are available to commanders

DGMPRA offers analogous assessment tools for commanders (e.g. Human Dimensions of Operations survey)

Biannual Health and Lifestyle Information Survey assesses need, barriers to care, etc. in garrison

2002 CF Supplement to Canadian Community Health Survey, Cycle 1.2

In-theatre needs assessment to explore need and barriers to care on deployment
Suicide event surveillance system Central surveillance database CF suicide surveillance system

Strengthen suicide surveillance system to better capture key information for prevention

Post-suicide clinical quality assurance investigation


Date modified: