Support after a suicide attempt

Research shows that the first three months after a suicide attempt are critical in a person’s recovery as they are at a higher risk of a further attempt.1

Facts about people who have attempted suicide

  • a suicide attempt is the most significant risk factor for further suicidal behaviour

  • people who survive a suicide attempt are often resistant to engage in follow-up treatment

  • about 50 per cent of those who attempt suicide don't attend any treatment post-discharge

  • another 10 per cent attend only 1 week of treatment

  • of those who attend treatment, 38 per cent stop within 3 months

  • 15–25 per cent re-attempt and 5–10 per cent die by suicide

  • the highest risk period is 3 months following a suicide attempt.

Most importantly, follow-up support after a suicide attempt is imperative to ensure ongoing safety.

These statistics paint a worrying picture – around 50 per cent of those discharged from hospital after a suicide attempt do not attend any subsequent treatment, and between 5-10 per cent may ultimately take their own life. Clearly there is a need to engage vulnerable people in life-saving services and beyondblue aims to facilitate better recovery through a diverse program called The Way Back.

Program activities:

The Way Back information resources

beyondblue has developed a set of practical resources for people recovering from a suicide attempt and their families. They feature real-life experiences of people who have attempted suicide or supported loved ones in their recovery.

The Way Back support service

The Way Back Support Service is a trial to provide continuity of care for people who have made a suicide attempt, to reduce the likelihood of a further attempt through the provision of assertive outreach, facilitated linkages, coaching and support.

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