For the last few years Beyond Blue has been running pilot programs for The Way Back Support Service (The Way Back) as a real and positive way to connect with people that have attempted or contemplated suicide, and hopefully prevent further attempts. In the 18 months from April 2016 to August 2017 the Newcastle NSW Service handled over 750 referrals. We truly believe that this has saved hundreds of lives.
The Way Back delivers one-on-one, non-clinical care and practical support after a suicide attempt that people can relate to, so they do not disengage with services. The plan includes setting goals tailored to the individual which encourages them to re-engage safely in everyday life. It also reduces barriers to accessing follow-up care and tracks appointments with health and other social support services.
The local hospital gets in touch with The Way Back coordinators when someone presents at hospital. The coordinators connect with the person within 24 hours and quickly form a relationship with the person before they start to make plans for the future. The ability to connect quickly is crucial in saving lives.
We were so encouraged by the success of the Newcastle project that we have agreed to fund two more sites. Each of these programs will cost about $150,000 to establish. Effectively, the $300,000 raised in 2017 will save many, many lives in the Grafton and Wagga Wagga areas (both currently experiencing suicide rates much higher than the national average).
- The Clarence Valley (Grafton Area) site is due to commence client intake before the end of the December 2017. This site is estimated to take 250 referrals per year.
- The Murrumbidgee site is also due to commence client intake before Christmas 2017. This is the first site to operate in multiple locations (Wagga Wagga, Riverina, Young and Deniliquin).This site is estimated to take 260 referrals per year.
Once the 2018 Beyond Bitumen Rally has been completed and the fundraising has been finalised, we will be able to make some decisions about future funding opportunities. We are looking forward to your support to make a real difference in peoples’ lives in the coming years. If you’d like to support the 2018 Rally just click on the fundraising link below:-