Pilot to help those left behind by suspected suicides

Sergeant Paul Trimble, project co-ordinator Chloe Merna and Stephen Batson, from the Health Department.
Sergeant Paul Trimble, project co-ordinator Chloe Merna and Stephen Batson, from the Health Department.

IN an Australian first, police have collaborated with others to pilot a rapid response service for suspected suicides.

The Peel and Rockingham Kwinana Community Response Steering Group (PaRK CRSG), WA Police and WA Primary Health Alliance have developed an immediate notification service after a critical incident involving a sudden loss of life.

The service triggers a rapid response from support services, enabling them to reach out to the immediate bereaved family to offer counselling and other much-needed support.

It will run for 12 months and is a post-intervention measure in response to suicides in the Rockingham and Mandurah areas from in 2016.

Dubbed ‘postvention’, the term is used to describe the range of timely, co-ordinated and appropriate activities following a sudden loss designed to support those affected.

WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) suicide prevention trial project co-ordinator Chloe Merna said the service helped those left behind after a suspected suicide.

“A rapid response means we can reach out to more people even earlier to offer support in the critical period immediately following a sudden loss,” she said.

Mandurah police community engagement officer Sergeant Paul Trimble said before the pilot, first responders would attend a loss, complete relevant paperwork on behalf of the coroner and give the next-of-kin a coroner’s information pamphlet.

Anyone who can donate resources, such as taxi vouchers, groceries or meals, should call the Weekend Courier on 9583 1072.

If you or someone you know needs urgent support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Kids Helpline (5 to 25 years) on 1800 55 1800.