1. About The Way Back Support Service
    On average 65,000 people attempt suicide in Australia each year and nine per day will die.
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Crisis support

If you are in an emergency, or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, please contact emergency services on 000. Other services include:

The Way Back Support Service

The Way Back Support Service transitions to governments

Beyond Blue has handed over our foundational suicide aftercare model, The Way Back Support Service, to governments around Australia.

As of 1 July 2023, these services may no longer be known as the Way Back but will continue to provide much needed support under new arrangements.

You can read our press release in full here.
The Beyond Blue Universal Aftercare Policy Series

Beyond Blue has built a body of knowledge and insights from the operational implementation of The Way Back Support Service and from the national evaluation, conducted by Nous, of the service. We have developed this series of policy deep dives to capture and share these insights and learnings across three policy areas: 

  1. Building a sustainable universal aftercare workforce through the development of a national capability framework
  2. Improving access to universal aftercare for groups disproportionally impacted by suicide, through the safe expansion of participant-centred referral pathways
  3. Demonstrating what effective universal aftercare looks like through a rigorous independent evaluation right from the start

We recommend that these insights and learnings are considered by policy makers and service commissioners responsible for the design, implementation and outcomes measurement of universal aftercare

The Way Back Support Service

People who have attempted suicide or experienced a suicidal crisis often experience severe distress in the days and weeks immediately afterwards, and they are at high risk of attempting again.

Beyond Blue developed The Way Back Support Service to support them through this critical risk period. A Support Coordinator contacts the person within one business day of receiving their referral and tailors a program for up to three months after discharge from hospital. This program is built on personal connection and integration with community services.

Encouraging results in trial sites led to an Australian Government Budget announcement of $37.6 million for Beyond Blue to roll out The Way Back to up to 30 sites across the country.

Fiona's experience with The Way Back Support Service

It was just such a relief to know that someone was there for me and just to have someone to call.
The Way Back evaluations

2023

National evaluation 

Beyond Blue commissioned Nous Group to independently evaluate the national expansion of The Way Back from June 2020 to November 2022. The final national evaluation report was finalised in February 2023.

The final report found significant overall reductions in participant psychological distress and suicidal ideation, and significant increases in emotional wellbeing. The report found the service was delivered in line with its intended design across inbound referrals, uptake rates and service delivery.

The evaluation provides important additional evidence on elements of successful aftercare services, and includes 16 recommendations for future implementation of aftercare services.

Final evaluation report

Final evaluation short report

Beyond Blue response to final evaluation report

 

2022 

The interim national evaluation report was finalised in December 2021.

Download The Way Back Support Service Interim Evaluation Short Report 

Download the Beyond Blue Response to The Way Back Support Service Interim Evaluation Short Report

  

2019

Hunter evaluation

Beyond Blue commissioned an independent evaluation of The Way Back in the Hunter New England region of NSW, conducted by a consortium of Calvary Mater Hospital, the University of Newcastle, Hunter Primary Care and Everymind.

This single-site evaluation found:

  • 97 percent of people reported positive progress on their recovery plan
  • Psychological distress scores dropped, on average, from severe to mild
  • People reported less concern about the issues contributing to their attempt, as well as fewer of those issues.

Beyond Blue is preparing to undertake an evaluation of all The Way Back sites operating across Australia to assess the impact and effectiveness of the service model at scale.

Download The Way Back evaluation executive summary

Download The Way Back evaluation full report

Download the Sax Institute ECheck Suicide Aftercare Services Report

The Way Back information resources

Beyond Blue and the Hunter Institute of Mental Health have developed the resources below for people who have attempted suicide and their close family and friends.

Finding your way back

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If you have attempted suicide

Getting your life back on track after attempting suicide is not easy. It takes time to recover physically and emotionally. Things might feel out of control and you might find yourself asking, what now?

Finding your way back has been written to help you begin to answer important questions about your future wellbeing.

Download the Finding your way back booklet


Guiding their way back

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If you are supporting someone who has attempted suicide

Having someone you care about attempt suicide can be incredibly traumatic. You might respond with anger, fear or sadness.

Guiding their way back provides practical information about the impact a suicide can have. It talks about why people attempt suicide, how they might be feeling and, importantly, what you can do to provide support.

Download the Guiding their way back booklet


Finding our way back

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A resource specifically for First Nations Peoples after a suicide attempt

Finding our way back was developed with major input from First Nations Peoples and their families and friends. It’s a starting point for working through some of the questions that may come up after a suicide attempt.

Download the Finding our way back booklet

1. To find the reference for the research and statistics on this page, please visit the references page and search through the suicide category.