(L to R): Robyn Bradley (WBHHS), Karen Suey (RFQ), Liam McKay and Emma Whitehead (PHN) and Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien.
(L to R): Robyn Bradley (WBHHS), Karen Suey (RFQ), Liam McKay and Emma Whitehead (PHN) and Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien.

Suicide recovery program helps people pave way back to life

A new initiative to combat high suicide rates in the Wide Bay region has been developed and is now available for the community to access.

Beyond Blue’s The Way Back Support Service provides critical after-care assistance for people who are recovering after a suicide attempt.

Chief services officer Alistair Stott said the program will provide practical support to patients for up to three months after they leave hospital.

“People who have attempted suicide often experience severe distress in the days and weeks afterwards and are at high risk of attempting again,” Mr Stott said.

“The Way Back addresses a significant gap in the current service system and eases this distress by guiding them towards the right support and informing them about how to stay safe.”

Commissioned by healthcare organisation PHN which is based in the Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast and Central Queensland, the mental health services will be delivered locally by Richmond Fellowship Queensland (RFQ).

The tailor-made program aims to provide individualised practical support to help people build resilience and find their way back to life.

Participants will receive a support co-ordinator to guide them through their recovery by creating a personalised safety plan, linking them to local support services and providing face-to-face and over the phone contact.

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service’s (WBHHS) executive director of mental health Robyn Bradley said the new initiative provides the community with access to much needed services.

“There are identified gaps within the healthcare system and it’s important the community has not only a number of available services but a number of access points to them,” Ms Bradley said.

“The Way Bay Back Support Service is another way we can meet those needs.”

According to PHN chief executive officer Pattie Hudson since launching its pilot program in 2014, The Way Back Support Service has shown promising results.

Funded by the Federal Government, the Way Back Support Service received $44 million in funding.

Referrals to the service must be provided by the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service.

For more information visit beyondblue.org.au

If you are struggling phone Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36.

The phone service is available 24 hours a day.

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