Suicide and Self-Harm (SSH) Services
A fast response service to patients who have expressed or acted on suicidal or self-harm ideas
Patients with a recent increase in risk of suicide or self-harm who have been assessed at increased risk by a GP, have expressed increased risk or have presented following a recent suicide or self-harm event may be referred to Hunter Primary Care’s Suicide and Self-Harm Services. The recent event may have been triggered by a psychosocial stressor such as a relationship breakdown, financial stress or physical illness.
This recent event may have been triggered by a psycho-social stressor such as a relationship breakdown, financial stress, or physical illness. The patient does not need to meet criteria for a mental health disorder to access this service. In order to access our services, the patient does not need to meet criteria for a mental health disorder.
Unfortunately, the service is not appropriate for the following patients:
- Those with longer-term mental illness
- When the suicide attempt and self-harm is part of a long term behaviour pattern
- Those with alcohol or other drug dependence
- Patients who are homeless or are to attend regular appointments
- Patients who are already receiving services from mental Health Services
What services are provided?
If risk issues are identified in the referral process, the Hunter Primary Care Access and Referral Management Team will contact the patient within 24 hours of receipt of the referral to undertake a phone assessment. If the team determine that the patient is eligible for our service, the patient will be offered an appointment within 72 hours. Ineligible will be reviewed for other HPC programs or referred to other health services as required.
Patients can access regular psychological intervention (face to face and/or over the phone) to address the issues associated with increased risk of harm for a period of up to 2 months. This includes ongoing monitoring of risk and referral on to other tertiary (specialised) services if more appropriate.
After 2 months, patients can access other Hunter Primary Care mental health service or be referred onto other services as required.
At all stages of the treatment, GPs will be provided information about the care and outcomes with their patients.
Crisis Support Services
Hunter Primary Care does not provide a crisis mental health services. If your patient required immediate assistance please call the Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511 or the following crisis support services:
- Lifeline Crisis Support – 13 11 14. Online crisis chat - www.lifeline.org.au/Get-Help/Online-Services/crisis-chat (Online crisis chat: 7pm-12am/7 days AEST)
- Suicide Call Back Service - 1300 659 467 wwwsuicidecallbackservice.org.au (Phone and online: 24 hours). Phone and online counselling for people at risk of suicide or those bereaved by suicide. Registration required for online counselling.
- Beyond Blue Support Service – 1300 224 636 (24 hrs), https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/get-immediate-support (Online counselling: 3pm-12am/7 days AEST). Telephone, online and email counselling for people going through a tough time.
- Kids Helpline – 1800 551 800 (24hrs). www.kidshelp.com.au/ (Online crisis support: 7pm-12am/7 days AEST)
- Mensline Australia – 1300 789 978, www.mensline.org.au (Phone and online: 24hrs). Advice, therapy and support for men with family and relationship concerns. Telephone with call back, online and video counselling. Registration required for online counselling.
- 1800RESPECT – 1800 737 732, www.1800respect.org.au/ (Phone and online: 24 hours). Telephone and online counselling service to assist people experiencing sexual, domestic and family violence.
For more information or to discuss whether referral is appropriate, please contact our Access and Referral Manager on (02) 4925 2259.
How to refer
Referral to our Suicide and Self-Harm service is via professional referral only. Please refer to the Psychology Services referral page.