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Understanding TLP's Impact

How does The Listening Place measure success?

As an organisation, we are committed to understanding our impact.

Understanding our impact means we can be confident that our service is actually achieving change for the people we support.

It gives us the opportunity to learn what works and what doesn’t and share this learning so that the overall system of suicide support can improve.

We keep the process simple (our visitors are here to be supported, not analysed) but thorough.

Our evaluation is supervised by Doctor Sarah Davidson and Doctor Sophie Smart with Professor Stephen Platt providing statistical advice.

Doctor Sarah Davidson

Head of Psychosocial at British Red Cross

Professor Stephen Platt

Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Edinburgh University

Doctor Sophie Smart

Postdoctoral Research Associate at Cardiff University

We use two simple self-reporting questionnaires and one short survey

Visitors complete this on arrival and then after every six sessions.

1. Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale. A clinically recognised scale for measuring suicidality.
2. A three question thermometer questionnaire asking people rate feelings of support, distress and suicidality on a scale of 1-10.
3. We ask visitors to report their feelings about our service and whether they found it helpful.

What did we find?

Our most recent evaluation with 1893 visitors who completed the C-SSRS and the thermometer questionnaire. The results were clear:

Statistically significant increases in feelings of support.
Statistically significant decreases in feelings of distress and suicidality.
On the 10 point scale, feelings of suicidality dropped from 7.03-5.13.

As with all quality research, we tested our findings to ensure that the outcome had not occurred by chance and tests showed that were was a less than 1% probability that the changes in our visitors’ wellbeing were coincidental. This means we have robust data and can say with confidence that The Listening Place helps to prevent people from taking their own life.

From our Visitor Experience Questionnaire we also know that:

99% of visitors tick very good to the question:

Overall, how would you describe your experience at The Listening Place?

98% of visitors tick strongly agree or agree with the statement:

I am able to talk openly about my feelings and problems to the volunteers.

98% of visitors tick strongly agree or agree with the statement:

The Listening Place is a place where I feel safe.

Alongside this, each month we collate the inspiring quotes that bring home the value of our service.

If you would like to read the full version of our latest evaluation or to find out more about how we measure our impact then please contact our impact team at