- By Ashley Puljic
- 26 October 2017
COORDINARE - South Eastern NSW PHN and the Black Dog Institute are seeking Expressions of Interest from general practices to utilise a new mental health screening and support package to better equip them with the skills and resources to identify and support people in distress, as this is seen to be one of the most promising interventions for reducing suicide.
The Illawarra Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention Collaborative with the support of the Black Dog Institute is leading a new evidence-based, integrated approach to preventing suicide. LifeSpan is about working together to prevent suicide by implementing the strategies that work, and helping people in the local community be better informed and connected.
People with suicidal behaviour frequently visit primary care physicians in the weeks or days before suicide, which makes GPs ideal candidates to identify suicidality, even in those not reporting distress. Up to 45% of individuals who died by suicide saw their GP within one month prior to their death, and up to 20% saw their GP within one week before death. Excellent GP care has been shown to significantly decrease deaths and attempts.
How can I be involved?
General practices across the Illawarra Shoalhaven are being offered a package enabling GPs to:
- screen all patients for depression, anxiety, suicidality and alcohol misuse via a mobile tablet in the waiting room (tablets will be provided free of charge by COORDINARE)
- receive treatment recommendations through practice desktop software in real time
- receive fortnightly online monitoring with feedback to both patient and GP
- use conversation starters to help ask patients about suicide
- auto generate treatment plans, referrals (face to face and online therapies) and ongoing monitoring
- ready access to Black Dog Institute psychiatrists for patient assessments where required
- ongoing support from COORDINARE staff during implementation of package
- ongoing skill development through eMHprac
- access relevant training to support this work.
There will be a rolling launch of the program, with participating practices able to nominate a preferred start date, commencing February 2018 onwards.
To express your interest or for additional information email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate whether your practice would be interested in a multilingual screening tool, and if so in which languages.
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