PsychMed offers the Suicide Intervention Program for Suicide-Attempters (SIPS), which is a brief, structured, CBT-informed and client-centred intervention for individuals who have had a recent suicide attempt. SIPS takes a collaborative approach, being designed to run alongside existing mental health treatment, with the aim of increasing client safety above and beyond treatment as usual. The aim of SIPS is to help individuals come to a greater understanding of their suicidal crisis and risk factors, including identifying triggers, precipitating factors and warning signs. It also aims to work with the client to develop a personalised case conceptualization and safety plan, which are then kept by the client, as well as potentially being shared with their other mental health supports to improve their overall care. All therapists involved with SIPS are accredited psychologists.
The Suicide Intervention Program for Suicide-Attempters (SIPS) is a brief, structured and client-centred intervention for individuals who have had a recent suicide attempt. SIPS is a collaborative approach, not a stand-alone program. It is designed to run alongside a client’s existing mental health treatment, with the aim to reduce suicide risk beyond treatment as usual, as well as giving clients focused, targeted time for discussion of suicidal thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
The program consists of 3-4 sessions of individual therapy with a trained psychologist, designed to create an understanding of previous suicidal crisis, existing risk factors, personal warning signs, and both short and long-term safety plans. Following this, participants will then be contacted for up to two years through e-mail, letters or phone calls, to provide a framework for ongoing support and a reminder of coping strategies discussed. Information gained in the SIPS program will be shared with the client’s supporting health professionals, to help them receive collaborative and coordinated care.
Anyone who has attempted suicide – or had a significant suicidal crisis – in the past two years may be eligible for the program, with a small number of exceptions.
Unfortunately, due to the nature and limitations of the program, we are unable to see individuals with active psychosis or a severe or profound intellectual disability or cognitive impairment. People diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder must be engaged in an evidence-based treatment program, or have undertaken one in the past (e.g. Dialectical Behaviour Therapy).
If you would like to refer yourself, or a client, you can contact PsychMed directly on 8232 2424. You will speak to a receptionist who will take down relevant information. Following this, you will be contacted by one of our psychologists to assess eligibility.
You may also contact APHN’s central referral number on 1300 580 249.
For GPs and mental health professionals, there is an intake form available, which assists the assessment of risk and eligibility. Healthcare professionals may also wish to include other measures that we use in the program if available, including the Beck Depression Inventory II, the Beck Hopelessness Scale and the Beck Scale of Suicidal Ideation.
If you are seeking a measure of your level of present psychosocial distress, please complete the brief screening questionnaire, Kessler 10 (K10) linked to this page [hyperlink], and contact PsychMed or your GP if you have any queries.