Authors: Rosemary Stevenson, Melissa Petrakis, Enrico Cementon, Lynette Joubert and Sean Jespersen VIC
Event: 2005 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Acute care: suicide prevention; self management (client-held records)
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: At TheMHS in 2004, Western Health in Victoria presented an innovative model of continuing care for people presenting to the Emergency Department after attempting suicide and /or deliberate self-harm. This paper will demonstrate some of the outcomes from the Western Area Suicide Prevention Strategy (WASPS) project. The model incorporated aspects of primary and secondary prevention. The model of intervention included strategic and brief counselling with an emphasis on crisis intervention and problem-solving components. A key component was assertive linkage with General Practitioner and Community Health Services. Continued follow up as well as assessment of suicide risk and depression levels were monitored for a six-month period, using standardised tools. The WASPS project found that when clients are admitted to the emergency department following a self-harm or suicide attempt they require support, counselling, assertive follow-up and linkage to general practitioners and other community services. Analysis of data regarding suicide risk, levels of depression and psychosocial domains shows a significant reduction in depression levels and improved quality of life for clients.