The Way Back Support Service NSW
The Way Back Support Service was an Australian first two-year action research trial conducted in several sites, including the Hunter region in NSW. The service supports people within the first three months after a suicide attempt, in an effort to reduce the likelihood of further attempts and ensure people receive treatment and appropriate care.
The project is funded by donations to beyondblue and the Movember Foundation. The Way Back Support Service NSW trial was delivered in partnership by a Newcastle consortium led by Hunter Primary Care.
The trial also linked families and carers of people who have attempted suicide to the Guiding Their Way Back Support Groups (see below) which were run by Everymind.
How does it work?
The Way Back Support Service NSW aims to support continuity of care for individuals by providing non-clinical, assertive outreach, follow-up care and practical support to individuals for the first three months following a suicide attempt.
The service was designed to prevent repeat suicide attempts and suicide deaths and adopts a culturally sensitive, strengths-based and collaborative approach to care.
Following a referral to The Way Back Support Service, Support Coordinators contact the client within 24-48 hours and work with them to:
- Develop a safety plan
- Set goals
- Provide support, coaching and motivation to encourage individuals to build skills and motivation to stay alive
- Stay connected to informal and formal supports that strengthen their mental health and promote recovery.
Support Coordinators also provide clients with information, psycho-education and the skills to manage their mental health such as recognising triggers and enacting safety plans. However, the support service covers all aspects of patient health and wellbeing, and does not just focus on mental health exclusively.
Services may include clinical care, safe and secure housing, financial or relationship counselling, getting back to study or work, or keeping in touch with family and friends. The level of support provided is based on the needs of the client and can vary from a one-off contact, to multiple contacts over a three month period.
For more information about The Way Back Support Service NSW visit: www.hunterprimarycare.com.au/index.php/the-way-back-support-service.
Support for family and carers
The individual’s family and other support people were also assisted through the provision of essential suicide prevention information and resources (e.g. The Way Back Information Resources) to help them better understand the experiences of their loved one, how to provide ongoing care and support to help their recovery, and advice on how to look after their own mental wellbeing.
The Way Back Support Service will link carers to face-to-face support via the Guiding Their Way Back Support Groups.
The Way Back Information Resources
Information resources for people who have attempted suicide and their family members and friends.