The community-based 4-level-intervention concept developed within the “European Alliance against Depression” (http://www.eaad.net/) combines two important aims: to improve the care and treatment of patients with depression and to prevent suicidal behavior. It has been shown to be effective concerning the prevention of suicidal behavior [1–4] and is worldwide the most broadly implemented community-based intervention targeting depression and suicidal behavior. The 4-level intervention concept comprises training and support of primary care providers (level 1), a professional public relation campaign (level 2), training of community facilitators (teacher, priests, geriatric caregivers, pharmacists, journalists) (level 3), and support for self-help of patients with depression and for their relatives (level 4). In order to deepen the understanding of factors influencing the effectiveness of the intervention, a systematic implementation research and process analysis was performed within the EU-funded study “Optimizing Suicide Prevention Programs and Their Implementation in Europe” (http://www.ospi-europe.com/; 7th Framework Programme) . These analyses were based on data from four intervention and four control regions from four European countries. In addition to intervention effects on suicidal behaviour, a variety of intermediate outcomes (e.g. changes in attitude or knowledge in different populations) were considered. Strong synergistic as well as catalytic effects were identified as a result of being active simultaneously at four different levels. Predictable and unpredictable obstacles to a successful implementation of such community-based programs will be discussed. Via the EAAD, the intervention concept and materials (available in eight different languages) are offered to interested region in and outside of Europe.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.