Authors: Joel Robins
Event: 2019 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Youth Suicide – Activating and Unifying Communities – The role of Postvention Protocols.
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Joel is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker has a background in managing community mental health and AOD services. Joel’s interests are in service redesign and innovation. Joel’s current role involves planning a commissioning mental health and AOD services for EMPHN.
Suicide is the leading cause of death among young people in Australia. 403 people aged 15-24 years died by suicide in 2016 , accounting for over one-third of deaths among young people (35.4%).
In 2017, Eastern Melbourne PHN and Eastern Health together with key community organisations and agencies collaborated to develop a coordinated response to suspected or confirmed youth suicide.
A communication response protocol was created with the following aims:
1. To ensure and provide a coordinated and effective immediate response to suspected and possible suicide incidents
2. To strengthen community capacity to minimise the risk of contagion following a youth suicide event
The target population is young people (aged 12-25), their families and social networks, and broader community within eastern Melbourne region.
Through a steering committee providing expert oversight, the region’s improved capacity to both respond to, and intervene in, incidents of suicide through the activation on the protocol has been evidenced in stakeholder feedback and partnership evaluation over the past 12 months. This protocol approach is now being replicated and tailored to reflect unique local need and service infrastructure in the north eastern metropolitan region of Melbourne.
Learning Objective 1: Develop an understanding of how a youth suicide response communication protocol facilitates prevention, early intervention, intervention and postvention activities.
Learning Objective 2: How to partner with local key organisations and agencies to critically coordinate community respond to youth suicide.
K Andriessen - (2009) Can Postvention be prevention, Crisis The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention 30(1):43-7