According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, suicide is currently the leading cause of death in Australia for people aged between 15 and 44 years. On average, around seven people succumb to suicide every day, having a devastating impact on individuals, families and communities.
One of the most significant risk factors for suicide is having a previous suicide attempt. International research suggests that 15-25% of those who have attempted suicide re-attempt, and 5-10% die as a result.
As a peak organisation committed to promoting good mental health, beyondblue focuses on improving the lives of individuals, families and communities affected by anxiety, depression and suicide. beyondblue identify, listen and respond to the experiences of people affected by suicide and provide evidence-based care to people following a suicide attempt in a bid to reduce repeated occurrences and aid their recovery.
During what is a very stressful, difficult and emotional time, there is currently limited evidence based support available to assist the family and carers of people who have attempted suicide.
Our funding will be help beyondblue to pilot and evaluate the Friends and Family Support Program as part of The Way Back Support Service in the Hunter region of NSW. The program will be delivered in partnership with a number of Hunter-based organisations including Hunter Primary Care, Relationships Australia and Hunter Institute of Mental Health.
The program will provide carers with the skills and resources necessary to respond appropriately following a suicide attempt including an evidence-based understanding of suicidal behaviour, skills to manage difficult conversations with their loved ones and tips on how to care for themselves during this very stressful period.
The implementation and impact of the Friends and Family Support Program will be evaluated by the Hunter Institute of Mental Health. This piece of work will help to inform future service delivery and efforts to reduce Australia's suicide rate.
For more information on the program visit www.beyondblue.org.au