The Way Back Support Service (The Way Back) suicide prevention initiative has been invited to showcase its service at a NSW Mental Health Commission event at Parliament House in Sydney on Wednesday 17 October 2018.

The theme for the 2018 event is Suicide Prevention and Wellbeing, with the aim to showcase mental wellbeing and Living Well to parliamentarians who are not directly involved in mental health and highlight best-practice examples of services and programs from across NSW that could be delivered in their local area.

Hunter Primary Care Mental Health Executive, Katrina Delamothe, said it was an exciting opportunity for The Way Back staff to educate and inform parliamentarians about the beyondblue initiative, which has been vital in filling the gap in support for people immediately after their suicide attempt.

“About 200 Australians attempt suicide every day and it is estimated that 1 in 6 of these people will have a further attempt within twelve months. When someone is discharged from the hospital, The Way Back can provide one-on-one individualised support that links them to treatment and support networks,” Ms Delamothe said.

“Our Way Back team has seen over 1000 of the 2111 people referred to the program nationally so far – there is great work being done right here in the Hunter in this crucial area of need.”

The beyondblue initiative launched its Hunter trial site in 2016, the first in NSW, to provide non-clinical care and practical support to individuals for up to three months following a suicide attempt – a group most at risk of suicide. The service is transitioning out of its trial period and wants to continue to provide this important service to the community. The service currently receives funding support from beyondblue, NSW Ministry of Health’s Suicide Prevention Fund and Hunter New England Central Coast Primary Health Network.

The Way Back Support Coordinators provide individually tailored support that includes developing a practical safety plan along with support and encouragement to identify and seek support for issues that contributed to their suicide attempt – which may include mental health issues, financial, work and relationship challenges, isolation and loneliness.

The Hunter Way Back Support Service is delivered by a consortium led by Hunter Primary Care and includes Calvary Mater Newcastle, Hunter New England Mental Health Services, Everymind and Relationships Australia NSW. The Way Back Support Service is a beyondblue initiative that was originally funded by Movember foundation.