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Veteran Suicide Prevention Pilot

The Department is implementing a number of pilot projects to explore how to improve the support provided to veterans who may be at risk of suicide. The Veterans Suicide Prevention Pilot (also known as the Mental Health Clinical Management Pilot) was announced as part of the 2017-18 Budget.

The pilot will provide support to veterans and former Australian Defence Force (ADF) members who have experienced a suicidal crisis and required hospitalisation. A previous suicide attempt is a known risk factor for further suicide attempts. The time immediately after discharge from hospital can be a particularly vulnerable period. This pilot will connect individuals with support following hospitalisation and continue this support for up to three months following discharge from hospital. 

Putting veterans first

DVA has partnered with beyondblue to deliver the Veteran Suicide Prevention Pilot. The pilot provides a Support Coordinator to work with individual veterans to develop a personalised safety plan. A safety plan includes setting goals tailored to the individual, to encourage them to re‑engage safely in everyday life.  It also reduces barriers to accessing follow-up care and tracks appointments with health and other social support services. It links participants to existing DVA and ex-service organisation support, which could include DVA case management support, Veterans and Veterans Family Counselling Service (VVCS), advocacy services or social support activities.

Support Coordinators keep in touch with people regularly, either face to face, by phone and/or email. The level of support provided is based on the needs of the individual and can vary from a one-off contact providing essential information, to multiple contacts for up to three months.

An evaluation will also be undertaken to assess whether the Veterans Suicide Prevention Pilot is effective in reducing suicidal behaviour amongst participating veterans and ex-serving ADF members, and to collect evidence to inform future policy direction.

Who we are trying to help

The pilot will be available to veterans and ex-serving ADF members with at least one day’s continuous full-time service, who present at a participating hospital after a suicide attempt or with suicidal ideation, or have been hospitalised and assessed to be at risk of suicide.

Participation in the Veterans Suicide Prevention Pilot is voluntary and individuals can choose not to participate.

Participating hospitals

The pilot is being undertaken in a range of public and private hospitals in the Brisbane metropolitan region. The service will be available via referral from the participating hospitals.

 

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