Annual Conference

TheMHS 2014 S018: Prevention – The SANE Suicide Prevention and Recovery Guide

By August 27, 2014 No Comments

You can read an abstract for this presentation here.

Samara Gray/Sarah Coker

The SANE Suicide Prevention and Recovery Guide is a resource for mental health professionals. It gives advice on how to work alongside consumers who are having thoughts of suicide.

This presentation focused on how the first edition of the guide had been received in the mental health profession. The vast majority, 82%, of those who has accessed the resource online were female. Also, most were between the ages of 45 and 64. The authors were surprised that the majority had only been in the Mental Health industry for two years or less.

Mental health workers are encouraged by the guide to take a holistic approach in caring for their consumer and to build better personal relationships with them. Rather than simply telling mental health workers the “right” way of communicating, it focuses on the concept of individualised recovery, and engaging fully with the consumer. In fact, some of the workers using the guide requested more specific information on what to say and what questions to ask, although this would involve dangers of becoming too prescriptive, which would conflict with the basic concept of recovery orientation.

It was found that most thought the guide helpful, with 89% of those surveyed saying that the advice would change the way they interacted with consumers who were having thoughts of suicide, one quoted as saying that it had “reinforced and given me confidence in my approach and understanding of working with people who are experiencing suicidal ideation”, although a small percentage claimed that the advice of the guide contrasted with their past experience.

The guide is simple and transferrable to all contexts of mental health service delivery. In keeping with the other presentations at the conference, it is recovery-based rather than focusing on “ticking boxes” and assessing risk.

You can access the SANE Suicide Prevention and Recovery Guide here.

Post by Jeremy Hancock and Ashley Pelton.