StandBy Support After Suicide service shows decrease in suicide risk

Posted 16th February 2022 in Sector news

StandBy Support After Suicide and the Science of Knowing released results in November from the most recent evaluation of StandBy’s effectiveness in supporting people bereaved or impacted by suicide.

The study showed that those bereaved by suicide who had received StandBy support had reduced feelings of suicidality and loneliness compared to people who had not received StandBy support.

Suicide has a wide-reaching impact on family, friends, workplaces, schools and communities. In the sample of 1,736 adults, 812 respondents who had been exposed to suicide reported age and number of exposures. Each suicide resulted in 135 people exposed (knew the person), indicating the need for postvention support. Standby plays an essential role in preventing suicides, as suicide loss places people at increased risk of suicidal thoughts themselves.

The evaluation results were released at a webinar held on International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day 2021. Speakers at the event included Julian Leeser MP (Chair, Parliamentary Friends of Suicide Prevention), Karen Phillips (General Manager, StandBy National), Victoria Visser (Director, Science of Knowing), and Stephen Scott (Partnership Manager, StandBy National).

In StandBy’s media release on 25 November, Stephen Scott said, “We now have successive randomised control trials that convincingly demonstrate StandBy’s effectiveness, with this project following similar research in 2018.”

Julian Leeser MP added “Suicide prevention is a key priority in Australia with a whole of government approach required to ensure services reach Australians who need them and that all communities are supported. The positive results from the StandBy Outcomes Project reflect the great work done by StandBy.”

StandBy was established in 2002 to provide a coordinated community response to suicide. Over the past 20 years, they have expanded into a successful national program, servicing Australia’s 31 Primary Health Network (PHN) regions. They work nationally by partnering with local organisations and engaging their community expertise to deliver effective and culturally suitable support. StandBy supports anyone bereaved or impacted by suicide, including family and friends, witnesses, first responders and service providers.

The results indicate very high satisfaction with the StandBy program. Many people confirmed they would recommend StandBy to others and that they would not have coped as easily without the support of StandBy.

For more information about StandBy, visit or call 1300 727 247 for support 24/7.

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