The Commonwealth Government is providing $1.25 million through the Federal Budget to ICLA to develop and trial a new service providing support and care for people experiencing a suicide-related crisis in a homelike environment in Sydney. 

Every year around 3,000 Australians take their own lives and sadly, these numbers are not declining. It is clear that new models of suicide prevention are desperately needed. 

Launching in late 2019, Independent Community Living Australia (ICLA) is proud to be trailing NSW’s first non-clinical Suicide Prevention and Recovery Centre (SPARC) at a location within Sydney still to be decided. 

Partnering with ICLA, Roses in the Ocean will lead the co-design of the operational model and provide training to Peer Workers who will provide the 24-7 empathetic care and support delivered through SPARC. 

Evidence shows that a previous suicide attempt is the strongest risk factor for subsequent suicide1, meaning the care people receive after an attempt is key to saving lives. 

Traditionally, people surviving a suicide attempt or experiencing suicidal thinking may end up in a hospital emergency department or psychiatric facility, and for many, this situation does not address the complex clinical and social care required for recovery. Research from overseas has shown that non-clinical residential models of care can be highly successful for giving people the tools and support needed. 

CEO of Roses in the Ocean, Bronwen Edwards said: 

“Providing people with safe, supportive places to be when they are experiencing suicidal crisis is absolutely critical. Many people in our communities tell us every day that they simply will not present to an emergency department when in crisis – that the busy, clinical environment actually escalates their distress.” 

With seed investment from the Federal Government Community Health and Hospitals Programme of $1.25M SPARC will be co-designed by people with a lived experience of suicide and bereavement by suicide to ensure it meets community needs and expectations. 

According to ICLA CEO, Rachel Green, this new facility will deliver quality care and support within a comfortable, homelike environment. 

“People in crisis deserve a safe space to be valued, heard without judgement and supported by people who have had similar experiences. For families and friends with loved ones in crisis, knowing there is a special place like this to take them will provide enormous relief” Ms Green said. 

Bronwen Edwards founded Roses in the Ocean to advocate for people impacted by suicide after her brother Mark took his own life in 2008. 

“The number of times my brother needed help before he took his own life, I would have loved to have a place like SPARC to be able to support him. With a place like SPARC, it will no longer just be left up to families to try and keep people alive, we will have a place to go for hope and support” Ms Edwards said.