When Erin Harris engaged with The Way Back Support Service at Communify, she was suffering from acute trauma, struggling to function in her day-to-day life, and felt unable to see a way through the pain she was experiencing. After working with her Support Coordinator to begin her journey of recovery, Erin regained her sense of personal power and discovered her inner strength. Today she is working full-time in a retail job and is optimistic about the future.
The Way Back Support Service is a Beyond Blue initiative providing non-clinical care and practical support to individuals following a suicide attempt or suicidal crisis. This program aims to minimise the risk of re-attempts, increase social connectedness, improve access to clinical and community-based support services, and build the capacity of individuals to self-manage and improve mental wellbeing.
Communify accepts referrals from the Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital’s Acute Care Team for individuals to engage with The Way Back Support Service program. Each individual is then assigned a Support Coordinator to support them for up to three months on their crisis recovery journey.
Before Erin’s first meeting with her The Way Back Support Coordinator, she didn’t believe that anyone or anything could help her alleviate her painful feelings. However, when Erin’s Support Coordinator Fiona worked with her to create an effective action and safety plan to navigate this difficult experience, Erin finally felt understood and less alone.
“Fiona checked in on me regularly, calling or sending messages to make sure that I was okay. On the days when I couldn’t even get out of bed, those messages felt like a lifeline.
“Fiona believed in me when I couldn’t. She helped me regain my independence and agency, she was my safety net when I had none. She helped me see that I was capable and strong, even on my worst days. She helped me to guide my own healing, to meet goals that I had set with her. Every step of the way Fiona was there to help with the big and small things.
“That’s what The Way Back service is, and why it’s so necessary.”
Our The Way Back Support Service team is inherently guided by a trauma-informed, person-centred approach to supporting people through a suicide crisis. The program emphasises the importance of meeting each individual at their level, building their capacity, and connecting them with support networks and services that will aid their recovery.
Through engaging with Communify’s The Way Back Support Service, Erin gained the tools to build an empowering new life for herself and better navigate her tougher days.
“Because of The Way Back service today I sit here knowing how strong and capable I really am. I live somewhere safe, I am able to choose my own path forwards. For the first time in a very long time I am happy, I wake up cautiously optimistic about what the future holds. I know on my bad days that I will get through them and that I don’t need a saviour, that I am enough.”