Evaluation of suicide prevention activities

StandBy Response Service

Page last updated: January 2014

1. Project Profile

Project Name(s)StandBy Response Service
(also referred to as Standby 6 sites)
Funded OrganisationUnited Synergies Ltd
Geographical AreaLocal
State/TerritoryQueensland, Western Australia, Tasmania
Approach(es)Selected and Indicated
Individual/GroupIndividual and Group
LIFE Action Areas
  • Improving the evidence base and understanding of suicide prevention
  • Building individual resilience and the capacity for self-help
  • Improving community strength, resilience and capacity in suicide prevention
  • Taking a coordinated approach to suicide prevention
  • Providing targeted suicide prevention activities
  • Implementing standards and quality in suicide prevention
Target Groups
  • People bereaved by suicide
  • Men
  • Children
  • Youth
  • Indigenous populations
  • Rural and remote communities
  • LGBTI populations
  • CALD communities
  • Refugee communities
  • Older people
  • Whole of community
  • Workforce
  • People affected by workforce redundancies
  • People affected by natural disasters
  • Other

2. Project Description

The StandBy Suicide Bereavement Response Service is an active postvention service, which was developed by United Synergies Ltd in 2002. The StandBy Response Service provides people bereaved by suicide with access to timely support and clear pathways to care. The service provides immediate response to people bereaved by suicide via its 24-hour crisis response telephone number. From there, people bereaved by suicide can receive face-to-face outreach service provided by a skilled trauma response team and/or a referral to appropriate support services matched to their needs.
United Synergies receives NSPP funding to implement the StandBy Response Service in six locations across Australia:
  • Sunshine and Cooloola Coasts (the original sites)
  • Cairns
  • Kimberley Region
  • Pilbara Region
  • Northern Tasmania
  • Southern Tasmania
United Synergies works with organisations in each of the above locations, who auspice the StandBy Service in their respective locations.

The aim of the StandBy Response Service is to reduce potential adverse health outcomes and assist in addressing further suicidal behaviour. The service does this by providing an integrated and comprehensive response using existing emergency and community support mechanisms. Active participation and cooperation of a wide range of agencies, such as police, ambulance, coronial services and community groups, results in bereaved people accessing the right support, at the right time and in the right place.

3. Activities

The key activities undertaken by the StandBy Response Service can be grouped under four headings: Service Provision, Community Development, Governance and Mentoring and Support, as described below.

Service provision

  • Provision of 24 hour community based suicide postvention
  • Promotion of service availability to local people and communities bereaved by suicide
  • Providing postvention response as requested to schools and workplaces and other groups impacted by suicide
  • Coordinating all agencies involved in StandBy's response including emergency services, coronial and hospital services
  • Providing on-call guidance and advice regarding suicide prevention, postvention, traumatic loss and grief, including referrals to support services
  • Participating in sharing of practice and continuous improvement to the service model through active participation in the national StandBy Network
  • Providing advice and links to other related mental health and suicide prevention projects Top of page

Community development

  • Providing regular training and support for emergency, health and other service providers relevant to the StandBy service
  • Providing ongoing training and capacity building activities in the community in relation to suicide and bereavement
  • Ensuring active involvement of local services, business and individuals in the StandBy referral pathway processes
  • Participating in local, regional, and state networks, committees and advisory groups
  • Maintaining currency in media relationships and the implementation of media guidelines relevant to suicide and suicide prevention
  • Producing and distributing resources including support packs, factsheets and localised community referral pathways directories


  • Maintaining and support active StandBy Steering Committees and Reference Groups
  • Utilising StandBy steering and reference committee members for guidance, advice and training
  • Continuing the establishment of formal relationships with statutory and government bodies as required
  • Undertaking data collection and secure storage for reporting, funding, evaluation and program development for the StandBy service
  • Undertaking regular reporting activities for both United Synergies and the Department of Health and Ageing
  • Continuing to ensure adequate facilities for program operations and maintenance of StandBy resources including program material

Mentoring and support

  • Providing direct support to coordinators and managers of StandBy sites
  • Providing training for all new coordinators in the StandBy model and refresher training for other staff and communities as required
  • Participating as members of steering committees and reference groups
  • Producing and disseminating StandBy resources including updating the StandBy Manual to include new developments in the model
  • Liaison with DoHA
  • Liaison with other federally funded projects as necessary and appropriate
  • Managing data collection and evaluation activities including production of reports and presentation of research findings
  • Establishing and maintain professional relationships with key experts, tertiary institutions and industry bodies to ensure currency of practice nationally
  • Facilitating and supporting the sharing of practice across all sites through regular communication, the national network and co-ordination of annual forums
  • Providing training Top of page

4. Funding

  • Round 1
    • NSPP funding
      • 2006/07 - $451,492
      • 2007/08 - $446,570
      • 2008/09 - $1,579,295
    • % project funding - 100%
  • Round 2
    • NSPP funding
      • 2009/10 - $1,805,565
      • 2010/11 - $1,496,265
    • % project funding - 100%
  • Round 3
    • NSPP funding
      • 2011/12 - $2,168,471
      • 2012/13 - $2,162,322
    • % project funding - 100%

5. Staffing

  • Round 1 (2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09)
    • Number staff positions funded (FTE) - 10
    • Number staff positions filled (FTE) - 10
  • Round 2 (2009/10, 2010/11)
    • Number staff positions funded (FTE) - 12
    • Number staff positions filled (FTE) - 12
  • Round 3 (2011/12, 2012/13)
    • Number staff positions funded (FTE) - 15
    • Number staff positions filled (FTE) - 15