Authors: Emma Tseris, Scarlett Franks
Event: 2023 TheMHS Forum
Subject: Alternatives to Suicide Research Project - Impacts of a peer-based approach to responding to suicidal distress
Type of resource: Video
Abstract: Alternatives to Suicide is a peer-led model emphasising mutual sharing in an environment where open discussion of suicide can take place without the use of involuntary treatment. This presentation reports on the findings and implications of interviews and focus groups with people who have attended and/or facilitated Alternatives to Suicide (Alt2Su) groups in NSW. Co-design principles were embedded at every stage of the project, with Alt2Su participants informing the research design and peer researchers conducting interviews, focus groups and analysis. Participants in the study reported strongly positive outcomes from attending the groups, describing many differences between their experiences of mental health services based upon biomedical assumptions and coercive practices, and their experiences of Alt2Su. The research found that Alt2Su groups offer a safe space to de-medicalise distress and valuable opportunities for healing in relationship and community.