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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The Way Back Support Service

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.

Current sites

Northern Territory


The NT has the highest suicide rate of any Australian state or territory by a significant margin.
An initial trial of The Way Back, funded by the Movember Foundation, was launched in Darwin in June 2014 and was delivered locally, with oversight from Beyond Blue. An independent evaluation was conducted by Ernst & Young.
A second iteration of the service ran in 2016/2017 and a third phase commenced in July 2020.
The Way Back in Darwin is jointly funded by the Northern Territory Government, the Northern Territory PHN and is provided by Team Health. The service is receiving referrals from the Royal Darwin Hospital.

New South Wales

Newcastle (Hunter Primary Care)

The second and most significant trial of The Way Back Support Service commenced in the Hunter region of NSW from May 2016, funded by the Movember Foundation and Beyond Blue.

NSW consistently has the greatest number of suicide deaths per annum. There are nearly 2,400 suicide attempts in the Hunter region each year and The Way Back provides a critical service to reduce the risk of these people dying by suicide. The Way Back is delivered by a Newcastle-based consortium, which includes: 

  • Hunter Primary Care (lead agency)
  • Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital
  • Hunter New England Local Health District Mental Health Services
  • Everymind
  • Relationships Australia 

Guiding Their Way Back Support Groups (EveryMind)

The Guiding Their Way Back Support Groups were developed by Everymind with funding from Beyond Blue, The nib Foundation and The Greater Charitable Foundation. This program has been developed for the community, including partners, parents, siblings or other family members, friends and colleagues of people who have recently attempted suicide.

Relationships Australia has partnered with Everymind and Beyond Blue to deliver the pilot information session and group program in October 2016.

Murrumbidgee (Wellways)

The Murrumbidgee PHN have funded Wellways to deliver The Way Back throughout the Murrumbidgee region. Launching in January 2018, this service will operate in Wagga Wagga, Griffith, Young and Deniliquin. Referrals are received through the Murrumbidgee Local Health District.

North Coast

The North Coast site was developed by Beyond Blue in partnership with New Horizons and Roses in the Ocean, with funding from the North Coast Primary Health Network. It launched in November 2018 and receives referrals from the Tweed Hospital and Lismore Hospital.

Australian Capital Territory

Canberra (Woden Community Service)

Canberra was originally funded by ACT Health and Beyond Blue from 2016 to 2019. The site is now part of the Commonwealth budget measure and co-funded through ACT Health and the Capital Health Network. The Service Provider is Woden Community Services and they receive referrals from both Canberra and Calvary Public Hospital Bruce. 


Redcliffe (Richmond Fellowship of Queensland)

The Redcliffe site is funded by the Brisbane North PHN and provided by the Richmond Fellowship of Queensland. This service launched in October 2017 and is receiving referrals from the Redcliffe Hospital.

Darling Downs and West Moreton

The Darling Downs and West Moreton site is funded by the Queensland Government, the Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN and provided by the Richmond Fellowship of Queensland. The service launched in July 2019 and is receiving referrals from the Towoomba Base Hospital, Ipswich Hospital, Warwick Hospital and Kingaroy Hospital.

Gold Coast

The Gold Coast site is funded by the Queensland Government, the Gold Coast PHN and is delivered by Wesley Mission Queensland. The service launched in July 2020 and is receiving referrals from the Robina Hospital and Gold Coast University Hospital.



The Mildura The Way Back Support Service site was launched in 2020 and is funded by the Murray PHN. It is delivered by the Mildura Base Hospital and Wellways. The service receives referrals from the Mildura Base Hospital.

South East Melbourne

Funded by the Victorian Government and the South Eastern Melbourne PHN, The Way Back is delivered by Monash Health and Better Place Australia. The service is receiving referrals from the Dandenong and Casey Hospitals.


The Ballarat The Way Back Support Service was launched in 2020 and is funded by the Victorian State Government. It is delivered by Wellways and receives referrals from the Ballarat Base Hospital, the Wimmera Base Hospital and East Grampians Health Services.

Geelong (Barwon, Child, Youth and Families)

Funded by Barwon Health as part of the Victorian Government’s HOPE Initiatives, this service launched in December 2017 and is delivered by Barwon, Child, Youth and Families. Referrals are received from Barwon Hospital.

Great South Coast

The Great South Coast The Way Back Support Service was launched in 2020. It is delivered by Wellways in partnership with the Western Victoria PHN and receives referrals from Southwest Healthcare, Western District Health Service and Portland District Health.

The Way Back 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 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people after a suicide attempt

Finding our way back was developed with major input from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their family and friends. It’s a starting point for working through some of the questions that can 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.

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:

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