Greater Support For People Following Suicide Attempts

People leaving hospital following a suicide attempt are now receiving dedicated support, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s Hospital Outreach Post-suicidal Engagement (HOPE) program.

Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley today announced the progress and success of the program during a visit to St Vincent’s Hospital, where the trial has been running.

More than 80 people have already been supported by HOPE, which has been running successfully at St Vincent’s, The Alfred and Frankston hospitals. The trial will also start at Geelong, Maroondah and Wangaratta hospitals this year – with service models and recruitment now underway.

The program provides holistic support to help individuals, carers and families identify factors and build strategies to reduce the risk of suicide. Sites were selected based on analysis of suicide data, population demographics and community profiles.

HOPE delivers practical support for those who have thought about or attempted suicide and need an intensive response in the months following, during the period of risk or vulnerability. Individuals are supported for up to three months after their discharge from hospital.

In 2016, the Labor Government released the Victorian Suicide Prevention Framework 2016-25, a coordinated strategy to halve Victoria’s suicide rate by 2025. This was followed by $27 million in support over four years to deliver on the framework through a range of initiatives.

In partnership with Primary Health Networks (PHNs), the Labor Government is also supporting 12 local communities to develop and implement proactive suicide prevention strategies through place-based pilots.

PHNs will work with local services, schools and communities to develop and deliver suicide prevention plans that address local priorities and build on existing services and supports.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley

“Every year, suicide takes more than twice as many lives as the road toll – there is no single cause or solution and it is not a disease for which there is a cure.”

“However, with understanding, a multi-pronged approach, and a Government committed to working with the whole community we can reach out, provide support and continue the work to get people the help they need.”

“Suicide is a tragedy that has a devastating impact on families and loved ones and we need to ensure we are doing what we can to provide a service system that meets their needs.”