News • 10 Sep 2022

Kindness is key on World Suicide Prevention Day

World Suicide Prevention Day is recognised on the 10th of September to raise awareness of suicide and suicide prevention. Open Minds delivers The Way Back Support Service (The Way Back) to The Sunshine Coast and Gympie area, which is an evidence-based service that supports people aged 15 years and over who have attempted suicide.

World Suicide Prevention Day is recognised on the 10th of September to raise awareness of suicide and suicide prevention. Open Minds delivers The Way Back Support Service (The Way Back) to The Sunshine Coast and Gympie area, which is an evidence-based service that supports people aged 15 years and over who have attempted suicide.

Emma James, the Open Minds Team Leader of The Way Back, and her dedicated team work with clients and their families to build an individual’s capacity to self-manage and improve their mental wellbeing, increase social connectedness, and improve access to clinical and community support services in order to build hope and strengthen their recovery.

Clients are referred to the program exclusively by the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service (SCHHS) following a hospital presentation in the context of a suicide attempt.

Emma’s team contact the client within 24 hours to invite them into the 12-week program. If they accept, a face-to-face appointment is scheduled immediately to complete a collaborative safety plan and comprehensive risk assessment.

“We make it a priority to build rapport and connection in our first appointment in order to establish a strong therapeutic relationship” said Emma.

The Way Back team recognise there can be various stressors in a person’s life contributing to their feelings of hopelessness, such as financial, legal, transport or relationship issues. Throughout the 12-week program, Emma and her team work with the client to help lift barriers that have been identified as contributing stressors.

Other important components of program are to work with the client to identify areas of need and goals to achieve over the life of the program, which are reviewed at weeks six and 12, and to empower the client with a voice in their recovery and build knowledge of supports accessible to them when they exit the program.

If you know someone who has recently attempted suicide, you can help by letting them know you care about them and are open to working with them to find the support they need.

Over 3,000 deaths occur by suicide in Australia each year. While suicide can be an uncomfortable topic to discuss, Emma and her team want people to know that kindness is key to preventing suicide.

“Being kind to another can change their day and help to build confidence and self-worth. We are all capable of giving and deserving of receiving kindness”, says Emma

Reflecting on this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day theme, ‘Creating Hope for Action’, member of The Way Back Emily Vaughan explains that hope is also fundamental to recovery.

“We can all lose our way sometimes, and possibly experience a sense of hopelessness when we can’t see the path forward. We try to create hope by walking alongside a client, shining a light of optimism to help them see that things will change, whilst reminding them of their past strengths and resilience and offer ideas and suggestions that can help them discover purpose and meaning in their life.

Support services like The Way Back can help strengthen support networks and build a sense of community, and with hope and action, bring forth a more rich and meaningful tomorrow,’ said Emily.

The Way Back is an initiative of Beyond Blue and is operated in over 30 sites across Australia. Open Minds operates the program in the Sunshine Coast and Gympie region, in partnership with Queensland Health, Beyond Blue and the local Primary Health Network.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs immediate support, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or other services listed here.

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