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Innovative suicide post-vention support service launched

  • Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • General
Friday, 18 Sep 2020

Today we’ve joined forces with Western Victoria PHN (WVPHN) to officially launch a new service in the Great South Coast that offers support to people in the critical three-month period following an attempted suicide or suicidal crisis.

In partnership with the Commonwealth Government, Beyond Blue, Wellways and us, WVPHN has commissioned The Way Back Support Service (The Way Back) Great South Coast with the aim of:

  • Improving access to high-quality aftercare to support at-risk individuals to stay safe
  • Building capacity of individuals to self-manage distress and improve mental wellbeing
  • Improving links with clinical and community-based services to meet individual needs and circumstances
  • Increasing social connectedness and links to supportive networks (families, friends, peers and carers)
  • Improving the capacity and capability of The Way Back workforce to support at-risk individuals.

‘Without a national program to address the service gap for people living through the critical three-month period following a suicide attempt or crisis, we are delighted to be commissioning this program with our partners for the Great South Coast to foster connection and tailored support networks that help those most in need find a way back to good health. To be able to guide someone through this deeply distressing phase of their lives and help them find their feet again is incredibly important,’ says WVPHN CEO Rowena Clift.

The service model, designed by Beyond Blue, enables participating hospitals and community mental health services to refer people to The Way Back and connect them with a SWH clinical coordinator who will determine the individual’s suitability for this support service. A referral will then be made to Wellways where support coordinators will provide the actual service to the client. Once a referral has taken place, a Wellways support coordinator will contact the participant within one business day of referral and maintain regular face-to-face contact with the participant over the three months following their discharge from hospital via face-to-face, telephone and/or messaging services.

The Way Back service includes developing a safety plan and a support plan (such as connection with their GP, financial or relationship counselling) and ensures the participant has support measures in place. The level of support provided is based on individual needs.

Referrals to The Way Back are made by hospital or community mental health staff based on an individual’s suitability for the service. Staff from health services who can refer people to The Way Back support service include staff from our SWH emergency department, Hamilton’s Western District Health Services emergency department, and mental health staff located in Warrnambool, Hamilton, Portland and Camperdown.

The service comes to Great South Coast due to an identified service gap for people who have attempted suicide or are experiencing a suicidal crisis in this region and will be offered free of charge to people of all ages, genders or backgrounds.

‘This innovative suicide post-vention support service will provide practical psychosocial strategies and assistance to recover from highly distressing life circumstances. In time, the service will dovetail with the Hospital Outreach Post-suicidal Engagement (HOPE) initiative, a key outcome of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health Services,’ SWH CEO Craig Fraser explains.

If you, or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 000, visit your nearest hospital emergency department or use any of these crisis helplines:

Lifeline – 13 11 14

Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467

Beyond Blue Support Service – 1300 224 636

Kids Helpline – 1800 551 800

MensLine Australia – 1300 789 978

SWH Primary Mental Health Team – 5564 6000 | After hours: 1800 808 284

Page last updated: 21 December 2020

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