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J Ment Health. 2013 Oct;22(5):439-48. doi: 10.3109/09638237.2013.815334.

Suicide prevention: evaluation of a pilot intervention in a primary care context.

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Centre for Health Policy, Programs and Economics, Melbourne School of Population Health , University of Melbourne , Melbourne, Victoria , Australia.



From July 2008 to June 2011, 19 Australian Divisions of General Practice piloted specialist services for consumers at risk of suicide within a broader primary mental health program. General practitioners and other mental health staff referred suicidal consumers to specially trained mental health professionals for intensive, time-limited care.


To report the findings from an evaluation of the pilot.


Data sources included a purpose-designed minimum data set, which collated consumer-level and session-level data, and a series of structured telephone interviews conducted with Divisional project officers, referrers and mental health professionals.


There were 2312 referrals to the pilot; 2070 individuals took up the service. The pilot reached people who may not otherwise have had access to psychological care; over half of those who received services were on low incomes and about one-third had not previously accessed mental health care. Project officers, referrers and mental health professionals were all positive about the pilot and commented that it was meeting a previously unmet need. Consumers appeared to benefit, showing significant improvements in outcomes.


This evaluation provides supportive evidence for the effectiveness of a suicide prevention intervention delivered by specially trained mental health professionals in a primary mental health environment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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