Suicide Prevention


Helping to prevent suicide is at the heart of everything we do at SANE Australia.
This is also the focus of our dedicated Suicide Prevention Project.


Suicide Prevention project

Suicide Prevention Project

Suicide prevention is integral to all of SANE Australia's activities, from development of resources through to staff training, and special projects. We work with organisations all around Australia to help save lives.

Suicide Prevention Project Manager Sarah Coker was interviewed by ABC radio about research into the experiences of people who attempt suicide. A full report presenting the results of the research will be available on the website by early September.


Mental Illness and Bereavement

Mental Illness + Bereavement

Suicide or being a missing person has a profound effect on others, especially when mental illness is involved. Research suggests that friends and family who are bereaved in this way are more likely to die by suicide themselves.

A new SANE Australia project has been established to tackle this issue, helping to improve the capacity of those bereaved to cope, and to help reduce their risk of becoming suicidal.

The project has developed a suite of resources and training, including:

  • Bereavement Guidelines – for mental health services to help develop policy to support the bereaved.
  • Workshops – to improve the capacity of mental health services to help the bereaved
  • Mental Illness + Bereavement Kit - An educational resource for health professionals.
  • Factsheets – Practical information and guidance for those bereaved and their family and friends. Visit the Factsheets area to download copies to use yourself.

For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (03) 9682 5933.

The Mental Illness, Bereavement and Suicide Prevention Project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health, under the National Suicide Prevention Strategy.


SANE Helpline

Help at the end of the line

As calls to the SANE 1800 Helpline increase in number, so do the number of calls from people worried that they, or someone they know, may try to end their life.

As well as the usual rigorous orientation, then, all SANE Helpline staff receive specialist training in procedures for handling suicide-related calls, and also have debriefing available after such calls. Call 1800 18 SANE (7263) or contact the Helpline Online.

In an emergency, see our Crisis contacts.


Reducing Stigma

Reducing stigma

Reducing stigma and misunderstanding about mental illness is an integral part of SANE’s suicide prevention work. There is evidence that suicide rates are much higher in the early stages of illness, and stigma discourages people from seeking the help they need at this crucial time.

By reducing stigma through its StigmaWatch and community education programs, SANE encourages people to talk about their illness and seek help early.


Lessons in Life

Lessons for Life

People who attempt to take their own lives provide valuable lessons for suicide prevention. This research study and video by SANE Australia and the University of New England explores their experiences, and what we can learn from them to save lives now and in the future.


Suicide Prevention and Recovery Guide

Suicide Prevention and Recovery Guide

The Suicide Prevention and Recovery Guide encourages people working in mental health, in both community and hospital settings, to consider a holistic approach toward the person they are caring for, including them in decision making, and encouraging individual responsibility.

The Suicide Prevention and Recovery Guide focuses on:

  • building a meaningful relationship with people at risk of suicide
  • the type of language to use around suicide and mental illness
  • ways to help people feel more included
  • the importance of health workers’ self-care and further training
  • how workers in both community and hospital settings have a role to play in suicide prevention, and
  • successful programs that are being used by mental health services.


Suicide Prevention and Recovery Guide Online Assessment

Free Online Assessment

Access the Suicide Prevention and Recovery Guide, then take part in a free online assessment. Completion of this short assessment may enable you to claim self-directed Continued Professional Development points towards your ongoing education in mental health and suicide prevention.


SANE Guide to Staying Alive

Staying Alive

The SANE Guide to Staying Alive has been developed for people with a mental illness who experience suicidal thoughts, with information and useful hints from people who have 'been there' themselves, as well as carers and health professionals.

The Guide, also available as an ebook, provides advice from all these experts on dealing with these thoughts, preparing for times when you have them, and making plans with others on how to get help if you feel you might attempt suicide. More >>



Get the facts

A suite of SANE Factsheets are available on this website giving the facts about suicide in Australia, how to get help if you are feeling suicidal, and - importantly - how to help someone else if you fear they may be thinking of ending their life.