Dr. Amanda Clacy on her EAAD visit

When and why did you visit the European Alliance Against Depressions offices and what did you experience in that time?

I visited the EAAD offices from the 13th of November to the 19th of November, and then attended the EAAD general assembly in Belgium (21-22 Nov 2020). The purpose of my visit was to connect with other research teams and groups who had applied the EAAD model, which we have done on the Sunshine Coast in Australia (Alliance for Suicide Prevention – Sunshine Coast). I hoped to be able to learn more about the successes and lessons that others had learnt throughout their implementation and evaluation journey with the EAAD model.

What are your lessons learned from your visit?

My visit was very informative, and I have brought many lessons back to our Alliance team here in Australia. The lessons that have been most helpful, included information about how EAAD evaluate each component of their program. It was also very helpful to learn about some of the programs and projects that are planned and how well these overlap with many of our own. Mostly, I benefitted from meeting everyone in the German and wider European teams. It gave me an appreciation for the incredible expertise imbedded within the Alliance, as well as the reach and impact of the Alliance program.

Why did you become involved with EAAD?

I became involved with EAAD as it is a strong, evidence-based framework that can be tailored to any community anywhere in the world. This flexible framework allows us to integrate the specific needs of our community into our suicide prevention program, creating a sense of ownership that can drive real change reduce suicide in our region.