Rescued from suicidal ideation – (BPA case study and podcast)
*John had a serious self-harm attempt and was admitted into an emergency department. He’d stopped taking the medication for his mental illness and was living with delusional thoughts which were creating strong paranoia.
John was referred to the HOPE Outreach Program by the hospital. It was there that he met Cory, his Better Place Australia practitioner. Cory worked very carefully with him to gain his trust.
It was clear that John didn’t have a great understanding of his mental illness and how his condition might impact him when he stopped taking his medication. As part of the program’s method, Cory met with John in relaxed environments, such as cafes over a coffee. Cory sat and listened to John, allowing him the space and the curiosity as to why the situation occurred.
Cory told us, “Taking time is a key to good supports like the HOPE Outreach Program. When I had established rapport and trust with John, I was able to introduce him to a clinical social worker within the hospital.” (Part of Cory’s role is to facilitate the connection with supports and resources to assist John in obtaining the best care).
The Clinical Social Worker was able to start a conversation around medication, correct medications, and correct diagnosis. John learnt more about his condition, particularly around the dangers of stopping medication quickly.
John was also linked into the continuing care team (CCT) at the hospital. (CCT is a longer term clinical service that operates in the community.) He was assigned clinicians, a GP, and a psychiatrist. The CCT team were able to look at the medication John was taking, some of the psychological and social stresses that were going on, and in particular in John’s case, his lack of understanding of the mental illness. John’s medication was reviewed and changed.
The outcome was very good for John.
During the time spent with the CCT team, John was continually supported by Cory as part of the program, including weekly check-ins and emphasising the importance of social connections.
Cory shared, “Towards the end of the 12 week program, John asked me ‘What do I do now?’ My response was, ‘Now that you have your support and connections in place, why don’t you think about going back to work?’ ”
John worked for a large organisation and was a permanent employee that had been on long term sick leave. Cory encouraged him to go to his boss and say he’d like to come back to work. The organisation, to its credit, had policies that supported John’s transition back into work.
They assigned him a return to work officer, so he was able to begin to plan how he would return to work. John was assisted through the lengthy process involved around medical clearances, and after three months, was back working three days a week.
That was five months ago.
John now works full time again and his medication has stabilised. Cory shared, “He had a considerable process delay when he was unwell with his speech. That’s completely gone now. His paranoia has gone and he’s been able to re-engage with his friends, and with his social connectedness, he’s been able to go back to basketball, and watch anime with his friends, which he was not able to do when he came to us.”
PODCAST: Listen to this case study podcast with Cory by clicking here.
Find out more about the Better Place Australia HOPE Outreach Program.
The HOPE Outreach Program for South East Melbourne is provided by Better Place Australia. Contact Monday to Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm on 1800 639 523
Need urgent assistance?
Dial 000 or go to a hospital emergency department.
Suicide Call Back Service (24 hours) 1300 659 467
Lifeline (24 hours) 13 11 14
Monash Health Psychiatric Triage Service (PTS) 1300 369 012
For more information about Beyond Now suicide safety planning app please visit Beyond Blue.