Partnership providing ongoing care for people after suicidal crisis

The Way Back Support Service (TWBSS): supporting people experiencing suicidal crisis

A vital program providing support to consumers following a suicide attempt is being implemented in a collaboration between CAHLN and AnglicareSA.

The Way Back Support Service (TWBSS) was developed by Beyond Blue in 2014 as a psycho-social service response to support people following a suicide attempt or experiencing suicidal crisis.

It will initially be trialled in the Royal Adelaide Hospital’s emergency department and mental health unit, then be rolled out to The Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Community Mental Health Teams.

“The funding to Anglicare and CALHN will enable us to work collaboratively and provide better continuity of care to some 700 people a year that present with suicidal behaviour or assessed as at high risk,” Executive Director Mental Health, John Mendoza, said.

“That’s a little over 10 per cent of the ED presentations for mental health at TQEH and RAH and is in addition to the other ED avoidance and community care reforms we have set up this year.”

TWBSS Support Coordinator, Brook Stevens (pictured), said the service aims to assist consumers and their families by linking them with appropriate support services to help manage life’s challenges.

“This includes providing education and awareness and being a sounding board to help increase resilience and coping,” Ms Stevens said.

“After a person is discharged from hospital, a coordinator from the program will make contact and over the following three months, the coordinator will keep in touch either face-to-face, by phone or email depending on the individual’s needs.”

TWBSS can assist our mental health consumers and staff by providing encouragement and support, helping follow the hospital discharge and safety plan, and supporting to connect with GP and other services that may help in the journey to recovery.

Inpatient and community mental health are crucial partners in the delivery of TWBSS. These mental health teams are typically the primary referrer and a crucial contact point for advice and escalation of care when needed.

TWBSS Support Coordinator Brook Stevens is working with the RAH ED, Mental Health Unit and AnglicareSA on developing a referral pathway and in-service training for staff.