Program offers HOPE


Geelong University Hospital will help trial a new State Government program offering post-suicidal engagement and support.

The Hospital Outreach Post-suicidal Engagement (HOPE) program is already underway at Melbourne’s St Vincent’s, The Alfred and Frankston hospitals, and has offered support to more than 80 people.

Health Minister Martin Foley outlined its progress and success today (October 11, 2017).

The trial will include Geelong, Maroondah and Wangaratta hospitals this year, with service models and recruitment 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, 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 State Government released the Victorian Suicide Prevention Framework 2016-25, a co-ordinated 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 State 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.

“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,” Mr Foley said.

“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.”

Source: A State Government media release.