Funding is supporting Phase II of beyondblue's Friends and Family Support Program (FFSP), which aims to provide support for families and friends of a person who has attempted suicide. The program will also have a positive impact on the life of a person who has attempted suicide and will equip their family and friends with the tools they need to understand and manage their feelings of helplessness and grief in the aftermath of the suicide attempt.
Every day in Australia, 8 people take their lives, with an annual toll of approximately 2,800 people (twice the annual road toll). One of the most significant risk factors for suicide is having made a previous suicide attempt, with up to 25% of those who have attempted suicide re-attempting. In addition, it is estimated that for every person who takes their life, at least 6-10 people experience intense grief, with over 100 more indirectly affected. Family and friends have a major role to play in reducing the likelihood of a further suicide attempt. However, there is limited information and/or supports currently available to assist them in this role.
The project will involve beyondblue's partner organisations engaging with the person who has attempted suicide and their support network in the aftermath of the attempt. The FFSP provides vital information and an evidence-based understanding of how to support their loved one through this difficult period. This project will help families and communities come together to help a loved one after a suicide attempt.
An estimated 200 friends and family will be engaged with this trial, with the aim to make the family and friends feel more supported and better informed so that they are able to be of practical assistance to the person experiencing the suicidal crisis.
Subject to a positive evaluation result, the FFSP lends itself to national dissemination in the future, either as part of a non-clinical service model or a more cost effective stand-alone option of care and support for family and friends.
"Self-help and peer-to-peer support is a cost effective way to provide support to people experiencing depression or a suicidal crisis. For a relatively small investment, we can make a really significant impact."
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