Suicide prevention and after care funding

Additional support for people after a suicide attempt will now be available to people living in Murrumbidgee communities with an $800,000-a-year investment from MPHN. 

In close partnership with beyondblue and Murrumbidgee Local Health District, MPHN released a tender to secure a provider of The Way Back Support Service; an innovative suicide prevention program developed by beyondblue (with funding from Movember), to support people for up to three months following a suicide attempt. 

MPHN CEO James Lamerton said MPHN wanted to drive positive outcomes to reduce the impact of suicide in the region.

“MPHN is committed to making this partnership, with such impressive and dynamic organisations, a success,” Mr Lamerton said.

“Our communities have, for far too long, suffered the pain of loss to suicide and this partnership is determined to begin the recovery journey. This forms part of the Australian Government’s commitment to mental health and suicide prevention.”

The Way Back Support Service will offer specialised one-on-one practical support to people after a suicide attempt, following their discharge from hospital.

beyondblue CEO Georgie Harman said The Way Back Support Service provides support in the first three months after an attempt – a critical period of risk and vulnerability. 

“Nationally more than half the people discharged from hospital following a suicide attempt receive no follow-up support or treatment – but The Way Back Support Service fills that gap,” Ms Harman said. 

“It supports people to find their way back to living, to manage the things in their lives that are causing pain, and to find the motivation to engage with follow-up treatment and re-establish what hope looks like for them.”

Wellways Australia, a leading not-for-profit mental health organisation, has been selected as the local provider. Wellways will employ six full-time support coordinators to work throughout Murrumbidgee to deliver this important service.  

“Wellways is delighted to have been chosen deliver the Way Back Service in Murrumbidgee. Our experience in partnering with local communities to deliver evidence based programs will enable Wellways to successfully deliver this important initiative,” Wellways CEO Elizabeth Crowther said.

National data indicates that 15-25 per cent of people who attempt suicide will re-attempt within three months. The Way Back Support Service aims to stop future attempts.

Wellways Australia has also been funded to work with local communities to develop and implement community level and locally specific after-suicide strategies and facilitate community-based suicide prevention, awareness and education initiatives.

Cristy Houghton