StandBy’s Support After Suicide Works

An independent evaluation of the StandBy program, conducted by The Science of Knowing in 2018 (approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of the University of Queensland) measured the well-being of 545 people who had been bereaved by suicide. The research compared the well-being of those who had received support from StandBy with those who had not.

The evaluation found that among people whose loss was within the last 12 months, compared to the control group, StandBy clients were:

  • Significantly less likely to be at risk of suicidality
  • Significantly less likely to experience the grief reaction of a loss of social support
  • Significantly less likely to experience feelings of social and overall loneliness
  • Significantly less likely to report experiencing mental health concerns
  • Significantly less likely to report experiencing a loss of social connections
Support from StandBy is more effective than general healthcare services

Outcomes were not simply the result of receiving some form of support, which may be better than receiving none at all.  When comparing StandBy clients with a control group who received other types of support (eg. support group, GP, Psychologist) the same trends were found – those receiving support from StandBy had a significantly lower risk of suicidality, mental health concerns and social isolation following the loss of a loved one.

Additionally:

  • Over two-thirds of people who accessed StandBy reported that the program staff had helped them make some sense of their loss.
  • Four out of five people reported that they did not have to wait long to access support services referred to them by StandBy
  • Nine out of ten people supported by StandBy reported that they believe StandBy is an important form of support for people bereaved by suicide.

To read more download StandBy Outcomes Evaluation Report – Summary (2pgs) or download StandBy Outcomes Evaluation Report – Full version

Reduced Risk of Suicide

The risk of suicidality was significantly lower for people supported by StandBy (38% compared to 63%)

Fewer Mental Health Concerns

People supported by StandBy reported experiencing significantly fewer mental health concerns (38% compare to 74%)

Maintained Social Connections

People supported by StandBy were significantly less likely to experience a loss of social support, social loneliness or loneliness overall (28% compared to 50%).

Reduced Stress

People receiving StandBy support also reported fewer instances of difficulty sleeping, financial distress, family breakdown issues or problems in the workplace.

“The StandBy staff who came to see me and my family in the first days after my loss were amazing.
I didn’t know where to start or what to do. Just having someone who could gently guide me was a
godsend” – StandBy client

“When something like this happens you just don’t know what to do, where to go,
so they [StandBy] came in and provided information, let us know that we weren’t alone.”
StandBy client

“I don’t know what I would have done without it [StandBy]. 
I didn’t know anything about suicide and what services are around.”
StandBy client