Beyond Blue welcomes the South Australian Government’s commitment to suicide prevention initiative The Way Back Support Service.
The South Australian Government today committed $1 million towards the rollout of TWBSS over three years, matching the Commonwealth’s contribution. Beyond Blue, which developed the program for people who have left hospital after a suicide attempt, will also contribute funding.
“Like many other states and territories around the country, South Australia has demonstrated keen interest in The Way Back. We look forward to working with them and the Commonwealth to support people who are recovering after a suicide attempt,” Beyond Blue Chair Julia Gillard said.
South Australian Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade and Commonwealth Health Minister Greg Hunt announced South Australia’s funding commitment today.
Since its rollout began in 2014, The Way Back has received more than 3100 referrals across eight current and former sites around the Northern Territory, NSW, ACT, Queensland and Victoria.
“The Way Back is designed to support people after they are discharged from hospital after a suicide attempt. This is important because we know the three months after an attempt are a particularly vulnerable time during a person’s recovery,” Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman said.
“The program eases their distress during this sensitive time by guiding them towards the right support and informing them about how to stay safe. It gives people practical support about how they can improve their life circumstances – about how they can find their way back to life.”
The Way Back bridges a gap in suicide aftercare by offering non-clinical, one-on-one care to guide people safely through the critical risk period.
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.
“Beyond Blue developed the service five 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 South Australia.”
The Way Back is currently operating in three NSW regions (Hunter, Murrumbidgee and North Coast), in the ACT, in Victoria (Geelong and the Casey region), and in Queensland (Redcliffe and a specific program for ex-defence personnel commissioned by the Department of Veterans Affairs DVA in Brisbane).
If you or someone you care about is struggling, you can talk to mental health professionals 24/7 via the Beyond Blue Support Service on 1300 22 4636, via web chat from 3pm to midnight (AEST) every night at http://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support
or via email.