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Finding their way back at their darkest hour

Better Place Australia launched The Way Back Support Service in partnership with South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (SEMPHN), Beyond Blue and Monash Health this morning.

Better Place Australia launched The Way Back Support Service in partnership with South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (SEMPHN), Beyond Blue and Monash Health this morning.

The Way Back Support Service is a specialised service providing support to people who have attempted suicide or have experienced a suicidal crisis. A Better Place Support Coordinator works with the client to develop a safety plan and maintains personalised support over three months.

Better Place Australia Chief Executive Officer Serge Sardo stresses the value of providing much needed follow up support and care to individuals after a suicide attempt.

“The social issue of suicide is very real. 65,000 Australians make a suicide attempt each year. Twenty-five per cent will re-attempt within three months. People can experience severe distress in the weeks and months after their discharge from hospital and this service is critical for them.”

“The Way Back Support Service aims to engage the client by supporting them through some of the hardest moments of their lives to a brighter and more hopeful future.” He said.

The Way Back service was developed by Beyond Blue and has been commissioned by SEMPHN. The service receives funding by the Federal and State Government and is provided to individuals who have been referred through Casey and Dandenong hospitals.

At the forefront of the service are the Better Place Support Coordinators, who play an integral role in guiding clients on the difficult path to recovery.

Clint, a Support Coordinator for The Way Back at Better Place Australia, speaks candidly about his work with vulnerable clients.

“Suicide is a taboo topic. Our work often involves helping clients to open up, to engage with us, and with the service. The people we see are often at their lowest point. A good outcome for us often might be just helping them to realise that there are other options than the one they took to start with.”

Paul, a client of The Way Back, knows how challenging it can be for people starting on their journey to recovery.

“It is just the feeling of care and knowing you have someone there to support you, that when someone is asking you how you’re feeling, he’s not just going through the motions. That’s a positive thing for someone who’s down, to know that someone’s going to listen.”

“The support I got helped me to realise that without reaching out I wasn’t going to get anywhere, except down where I was going – down. That’s it. It’s helped me to realise I’ve got too much to live for.”

Clients often have to overcome many barriers and challenges during their journey to recovery and The Way Back Support Coordinators work to address this. “The road to recovery is often deeply personal.” CEO Serge Sardo said. “The Way Back Support Coordinators go beyond linking clients to services – they work flexibly to engage and establish a meaningful relationship with the client to see them through their darkest hours.”

Watch the video interview of The Way Back Support Coordinator Clint and Client Paul online here.

If you, or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 000, visit your nearest hospital emergency or use any of the crisis helplines:

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Media Contact – Graeme Westaway 0438 318 311. Graeme.westaway@betterplace.com.au

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