Crisis services play an important role as part of a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention
The Report Implementing Integrated Suicide Prevention In Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Communities A Guide For Primary Health Networks (Dudgeon et al. 2019) confirms the need for crisis intervention to ensure communities have the capacity to respond to crises with appropriate postvention interventions to improve the type of caring for people who have survived as well as those affected by suicide attempts. Providing a full range of crisis services can reduce suicides when coupled with mental health follow-up care. Crisis services and systems can be effective and cost saving alternatives to emergency room services and hospitalizations, providing safe transitions to care and support for people experiencing a crisis. Effective suicide prevention requires a full continuum of services designed to provide the right care at the right time for different population groups in a setting where people feel most relaxed.
Crisis services can be provided in many different settings and can include:
- Crisis helplines and hotlines that help callers who are in a suicidal crisis (e.g. Lifeline)
- Mobile crisis teams (e.g. Thirrili, national),
- Walk-in crisis clinics,
- Hospital-based psychiatric emergency services (National)
- Outreach clinics (e.g. HOPE, Vic;)
- Peer-based crisis services (e.g the Safe Haven, Vic).
Peer-based crisis services are crisis alternatives located in a house or community setting with the aim of diverting hospitalisation. They are generally staffed and operated by peers who have professional training in providing crisis support to build mutual, trusting relationships within a safe environment for people to overcome crisis.
Postvention and critical responses to suicide or traumatic crisis are an important part of a systems approach to suicide prevention in Indigenous communities, including reducing the risk of suicide clusters.
The Fifth Mental Health Plan has adopted the European Alliance Against Depression (EAAD) model which has 4 levels of intervention, one of which involves providing high-risk groups young people in adolescent crisis and persons after suicide attempt (and their relatives) with “Emergency Cards” guaranteeing direct access to professional help in a suicidal crisis.
Other initiatives recommended include establishing:
- Regional self-help groups and supporting them with expert advice.
- Partnerships with patient associations and intensifying support for existing groups.
The HOPE Initiative will provide tailored, holistic support to people post a suicide attempt with the aim of supporting the person and their carers and families to identify and build the protective factors that reduce the risk of suicide attempt/completed suicide.
Contact: Program Coordinator for HOPE is Eileesh Diviney (DHHS), Senior Policy Officer Dept. of Health and Human Services
Losing someone to suicide can be overwhelming and confusing and can present a wide range of emotions. StandBy provides local support to people affected by suicide.
Contact: Standby Operations Manager, Geoff Timm
Phone: 04022 54831 Email: email@example.com
Thirrili Ltd is a not for profit organisation which aims to contribute to the broader social wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Thirrili offers a range of programs which are designed to address fully the systemic and long standing causal issues for which solutions have eluded us for too long. We stand ready to partner with governments, academia and the broader service system to tackle these issues.
Contact: Adele Cox Founding Director and Chief Executive of Thirrili Ltd and Project Director NICRS
Phone: (03) 8578 1410