Beyond Blue welcomes the Queensland Government’s plan to join the Commonwealth and Beyond Blue in funding an innovative service that supports people after a suicide attempt.
The Way Back Support Service, developed by Beyond Blue, delivers personalised support to people for up to three months after they’re discharged from hospital following a suicide attempt.
This is a high-risk period for reattempts.
Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman welcomed Queensland Health and Ambulance Services Minister Steven Miles’ announcement that next week’s State Budget would include $7.5 million over four years to expand The Way Back in Queensland.
The expansion of The Way Back is being co-funded by the Commonwealth and interested States and Territories, with Beyond Blue funding the supporting infrastructure.
“This matched funding by the Queensland Government demonstrates its firm commitment to supporting people in suicidal crisis to find their way back to life,” Ms Harman said.
“We know that if someone has attempted suicide, there’s a big risk they will try again within three months.
“The Way Back supports people to stay safe, to keep connected with others and to access health and community services as part of their recovery.”
Evidence shows co-ordinated aftercare has the capacity to decrease suicide attempts by almost 20 per cent.
The Way Back bridges that gap and provides non-clinical, one-on-one care to guide people safely through this critical risk period.
“Beyond Blue developed the service four years ago because we knew there was a massive gap. Too often people were leaving hospital with no follow up support and returning to the circumstances that contributed to their distress,” Ms Harman said.
“We are delighted with this level of commitment and look forward to working together to prevent suicide in Queensland.”
The Way Back team works with the individual and their support people to identify their needs, develop a personalised safety plan and connect them to services or clinical care as needed.
Since its rollout began in 2014, The Way Back has received more than 2,900 referrals across eight current and former sites around the Northern Territory, NSW and Victoria.
Ms Harman also congratulated the Queensland Government on its broader suicide prevention package, including the expansion of the community spaces provided by Safe Haven Cafes as an alternative to busy Emergency Departments for people in high distress.
Mental health professionals are available at the Beyond Blue Support Service via phone 24/7 on 1300 22 4636 or via www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support for online chat (3PM – 12AM AEST or email responses within 24 hours).