Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles and beyondblue Chairman Jeff Kennett today launched The Way Back Support Service (NT) for people in the Northern Territory who have attempted suicide.
The two-year trial service is funded by the Movember Foundation, the Australian Hotels Association NT and beyondblue and cost $800,000.
The service, implemented by Anglicare NT, will refer people who have attempted suicide from the Royal Darwin Hospital and allocate a support worker to aid them in their recovery.
The support worker will reach out to the person and check on their safety, as well as remind them of appointments.
In some cases they will make arrangements for transport to ensure the person continues to receive help after being discharged from hospital.
“If someone has attempted suicide, we know there is a big risk factor for another suicide attempt and the first three months are critical in their recovery. More than half of people who have tried to kill themselves leave hospital and don’t get any support or follow-up treatment and, disturbingly, between 15 and 25 per cent will attempt suicide again. We hope this support service will save lives,” Mr Kennett said.
Mr Giles attended the launch this morning, and said he is proud to be raising awareness of this important community issue.
“Suicide prevention is something this government takes very seriously. We have a problem in the Territory, we know it, and we are working to fix it,” he said.
The Movember Foundation’s Jeremy Macvean, said The Way Back Support Service (NT) would provide an outreach service to people at risk of suicide.
“We are proud that funds raised by the Movember community have enabled this service to be available in the Northern Territory, which has the highest rate of suicide in the country,” he said.
Anglicare NT CEO Dave Pugh said the support service would provide vital assistance to vulnerable people in the region, and ensure they were supported through their recovery.
Suicide in the Northern Territory
- The Northern Territory has the highest suicide rate in Australia, with 18.1 suicides per 100,000, compared to the national average of 10.8 per 100,000.
- Men account for 85 per cent of suicides in the Northern Territory, compared to 75 per cent nationally.
- Around 100 people are admitted to the Royal Darwin Hospital each year following a suicide attempt.
- The hospital estimates between six and 10 people present to their Emergency Department voicing suicidal thoughts each day.
beyondblue Support Service
Phone: 1300 22 4636
Email or live chat: www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support
Adapted from the beyondblue media release: beyondblue launches practical support service for people in the Northern Territory who have attempted suicide