Authors: Ciaran Bird & Gabrielle Mulcahy
Event: 2023 The MHS conference - Adelaide
Subject: Connecting with People Compassion Based Suicide Prevention Framework in the ACT
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: As part of the ACT Lifespan Integrated Suicide Prevention Trial (Lifespan) the Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing (OMHW) secured funds to support evidence informed suicide prevention training across health and community sectors in the ACT.
Through a review supported by Black Dog Institute (BDI), Connecting with People (CwP) was identified as the most appropriate suicide prevention training package for the ACT. Developed by Dr Alys Cole-King from 4 Mental Health UK (4MH), CwP is a training approach to suicide prevention that challenges traditional notions of risk quantification, prediction, and management of suicidality. Emphasis on the use of compassionate and informed engagement with those in suicidal distress is championed. CwP incorporates clinical tools which assists clinicians to accurately identify and mitigate individual risks leading to the creation of a Safety Plan and a shared language between health services and community providers.
Initial rollout of CwP commenced in 2021 within Mental Health clinical services. Several factors, including COVID-19 have hampered the initiative, however the ACT OMHW still believes that a compassion-based suicide prevention approach is the way forward for the ACT and continues to support the initiative, particularly considering Recommendation four of the National Suicide Prevention Advisor’s Final Advice2 (2020, p12).
Delegates will be provided with an opportunity to learn about the ACT implementation of CwP, what has and has not worked and the lessons learnt for future projects and initiatives.
Cole-King, A. Green, G., Gask, L., Hines, K. & Platt, S., 2013, Suicide Mitigation: A compassionate approach to suicide prevention. Advances in psychiatric treatment, vol 19, 276-283.
Australian Government, 2020, Connected and Compassionate: Implementing a national whole of governments approach to suicide prevention, National Suicide Prevention Advisers Final Advice Vol 2, Canberra Australia.