Improving the care received by people after a suicide attempt is a high priority for their immediate care and support, and for reducing further suicide attempts and suicide deaths. A suicide attempt is the most significant risk factor for further suicidal behaviour. The relative risk for suicide after attempted suicide is between 20 to 40 times higher than in the general population.

The NSW Government has matched Commonwealth Government funding to expand Beyond Blue’s The Way Back Support Service, which provides aftercare to people after discharge from hospital following a suicide attempt. The Way Back Support Service provides three months of follow up and psychosocial, peer-based support in the community. The period just after a suicide attempt is recognised as a vulnerable time, and this service aims to prevent further harm.

The Way Back Support Service is currently provided at the following NSW locations:

The Way Bay Support Service will be expanded to new sites at Northern Sydney and Central Coast local health districts.

Resources for health professionals

Information for health professionals

Further reading

In 2019, a report was commissioned by the NSW Ministry of Health to examine which aftercare services have been found to be effective in reducing further suicide attempts, with a focus on the components that contribute to their effectiveness (Sax Institute, Suicide Aftercare Services: an Evidence Check rapid review, report commissioned by NSW Ministry of Health, October 2019).

In the news

Suicide Support is Out There, ABC News, 12 September 2019

Current as at: Thursday 16 April 2020
Contact page owner: Mental Health Branch