SANE’s Better Support project helps us understand the needs of family and friends when a loved one attempts suicide

Posted 23rd September 2019 in General

SANE Australia are involved in a two-phased Better Support project exploring the needs and experiences of families and friends, supporting those who have attempted suicide with plans to develop useful co-designed resources for caregivers.

The Better Support project is funded by both the Grenet Merrin and the Ian Potter Foundations and is supported by academics from the University of New England (UNE).

SANE Australia has recently released findings from the first phase of the mixed method study, which was completed from August 2017 to December 2018.

The report examines the questions:

  • What are the experiences of family, friends and significant others who support a loved one after a suicide attempt?
  • What resources, interventions or improvements would family, friends and significant others like to see in order to provide better support to someone who has attempted suicide?

SANE make the following recommendations:

  • Increase understanding within the healthcare sector about the crucial role that families, friends and other care-givers play in supporting people after suicide attempt.
  • Review the standard emergency department processes and practices after a suicide attempt in each state and territory in Australia, with care-givers playing a role in developing recommendations for change.
  • To assist emergency department and other health care staff improve how they respond to care-givers by developing a simple resource, providing practical information to help foster a culture of shared decision-making and collaborative engagement with care-givers to improve the care, support and treatment provided.
  • The development of a care-giver resource – delivered by SANE as part of the Better Support project – that is practical, accessible and engaging

The second phase of the project involves the development and trial of resources to help provide “Better Support” to the families and friends of people who attempt suicide, and will be completed by June 2020.