“connecting with someone who understands”
“proactive, practical and thoughtful support”
“the friendly chats”
“someone who understands the mental health system”
“access to a crisis plan”
These are the words used by participants who have recently experienced a suicide attempt to describe The Way Back Support Service. People come to this service at such a challenging time in their lives and what they find is a service that understands the trauma they have experienced and is willing to tailor support to their needs.
Delivered by Woden Community Service in Canberra for the last five years, The Way Back (TWB) has established itself as an integral part of the mental health sector here and is highly regarded and respected for its excellence in service for people at their most vulnerable time.
Woden Community Service (WCS) is a for-purpose organisation that provides a broad range of services to the Canberra community. Our services are flexible, responsive and person-focused and include children, youth and family services, NDIS, housing and homelessness, aged care, mental health, and community engagement.
WCS offers a range of specialised community-managed mental health and suicide prevention services with a focus on promoting wellbeing, hope, strength, recovery, and a sense of community and belonging.
More than eight people die by suicide every day in Australia, and suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians between 15–44 years of age.1 Founded in 2000, Beyond Blue has more recently expanded into suicide prevention in recognition of the strong interface between depression, anxiety and suicide and initiated The Way Back Support Service. There are currently 32 TWB services nationwide.
WCS is the provider of TWB in Canberra, offering up to 12 weeks of non-clinical, trauma-informed, practical psychosocial support to people experiencing a suicidal crisis or who have attempted suicide. TWB Canberra is funded by the ACT and federal governments and is commissioned through the ACT Primary Health Network. The program operates in partnership with Canberra Health Services and the community mental health teams and public hospitals.
The Way Back in Canberra has provided suicide after-care support to more than 900 people since 2016. We were awarded an ACT Mental Health Month Award in 2019 in recognition of the work we do to assist people in their recovery journey after attempting suicide.
Additional funding from the ACT Government during the 2020 and 2021 COVID-19 lockdowns allowed TWB to increase participant support and respond to the increasing demand of people accessing the program in these challenging times.
WCS has more than 50 proud years of service to the Canberra community, and will continue to provide accessible, practical, and responsive support to all our service users including those of TWB. We aim to build on our strengths in psychosocial and peer-based services for the years to come.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics. Causes of death, Australia, 2018. Cat no 3303.0. Canberra: ABS, 2019
- Retrieved from: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/suicide-prevention/after-a-suicide-attempt/the-way-back-support-service
- Retrieved from: https://www.chnact.org.au/chn-annual-report-2019-20/mental-health/support-following-a-suicide-attempt-the-way-back-support-service/