Canberrans seeking help to recover after attempting suicide or serious self-harm are now being offered "way back" from the precipice, as the ACT gears up as one of three trial sites for a new beyondblue program.
The program, called the Way Back Support Service, will be launched today by Mental Health Minister Shane Rattenbury and beyondblue chief Georgie Harman.
It offers personalised support for people who have attempted to take their own lives, including counselling and building a "personalised safety plan", practical advice to aid their recovery and referrals, if needed, to clinical care.
National data shows between 15 and 25 per cent of those who attempt suicide will try again within three months of a hospital discharge, with the new service aiming to help stop those future attempts.
Some 3000-odd Australians took their own life last year, while 45 ACT residents also committed suicide - beyondblue estimates the new service could save as many as 2000 lives by 2018.
The service has begun operating in Canberra, the Hunter region in New South Wales in Darwin in the Northern Territory, as part of a beyondblue trial.
Mr Rattenbury said suicide rates were a "growing concern" and the nation, including the ACT, needed to address the problem.
"There is growing evidence services such as The Way Back can greatly improve recovery from suicide attempts," he said.
Ms Harman said the service was not just about a "medical intervention".
"It's about getting practical help and information into the hands of the people who need it," she said.
ACT residents who attempt to take their own lives and are treated in Canberra and Calvary hospitals will be referred to the the service and given an individual "support coordinator" who will help them recover in the months after discharge.
If you or someone you know needs help, contact beyondblue on 1300 22 4636, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kid's HelpLine on 1800 55 1800.
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