Pilot program to support suicide survivors in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt Region

8 February 2024

Lifeline WA will trial a unique virtual support program to reduce future suicide risk among people who have survived a suicide attempt in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt.

With a previous suicide attempt the single biggest predictor of a future suicide death, the world-leading evidence-based model will give survivors skills to keep themselves safe and the support and understanding of others who have been through the same experience.

Funded by Lotterywest the two-year pilot will be delivered in partnership with leading alcohol and other drug and mental health treatment service provider Holyoake and is seen as a key strategy for addressing the Wheatbelt region’s higher than average suicide rate.

The Eclipse program collaboration will remove a significant barrier to accessing suicide prevention and aftercare services to people living in some of the State’s smallest and most isolated towns.

Accepting the grant today (8/02/24) from the Minister for Health and Mental Health, the Hon Amber-Jade Sanderson, CEO, Lorna MacGregor, said Lifeline WA was proud to be partnering with Holyoake on an innovative approach to supporting suicide survivors in regional Western Australia.

“Survivors often struggle with a perception that attempting suicide is selfish or attention seeking, and they need skills to help them cope with shame and suicidal thoughts,” she said.

“Eclipse will create a safe, non-judgemental space where people can talk about the thoughts and feelings which led them to attempt suicide and discuss the challenges they face following their suicide attempt.

“Everyone participating in the program will have lived experience of attempting suicide which will deliver a truly understanding and supportive environment.”

Ms MacGregor said each Eclipse program will run for eight weeks with participants joining a weekly three-hour session online.

“The virtual nature of the group allows people living in small communities to take part without the fear that everyone in town will know they are accessing support which can be further stigmatising,” she said.

“It also allows them to share their experience of attempting suicide in their own words without rejection, denial or avoidance of the subject.”

Holyoake CEO, Lorraine Keane said “Holyoake is proud of its no wrong door approach and have a significant footprint in the Wheatbelt.

We continuously receive feedback that Suicide Aftercare Program consumers leave feeling validated and more positive about the future.”

“Eclipse will provide a safe space for survivors to be heard in a non-judgemental way, allowing people to debrief with those who have lived experience – leaving the sessions lighter and with hope for the future.”

Lifeline WA and Holyoake will run three Eclipse online groups each year during the two-year trial commencing in early 2024.


  • Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged 15-49 years and the impact of suicide on loved ones and their community is profound and long lasting.
  • People in rural communities are twice as likely to take their life by suicide than their metropolitan counterparts.
  • In 2022, 377 people in Western Australia died by suicide, (more than twice as many males as females), with an age standardised suicide rate of 13.4, higher than the national rate of 12.3.
  • The Wheatbelt region has an estimated population of 75,000 people and consists of more than 200 towns spread across 154,862sqm.
  • The age-standardised rate of deaths by suicide in the region from 2018-2022 was 22.3 per 100,000.

Lifeline’s 24/7 telephone crisis support service is available on 13 11 14, text 0477 13 11 14, and, online chat lifeline.org.au/crisis-chat


At Holyoake, we give people impacted by alcohol, drugs and mental ill health the support, hope and confidence they need to live the life they choose. By listening. By offering free counselling, peer-support and community programs across WA. By being here whenever they’re ready.

About the empowering, open-door Holyoake Approach:

We have what we call a family-systems approach. It’s non-judgemental and free to access at any point. And crucially, it’s evidence-based, working on the proven principle that when we address AOD (alcohol and other drugs) or mental health challenges holistically – when we come together as individuals and families, specialists and practitioners – we achieve better, life-changing outcomes.

Media contact:
Caitlyn Maher, The PR Collaborative, caitlyn@theprcollaborative.com.au 0426 221 310

NB: Lifeline’s 24-hour telephone crisis line 13 11 14 is pronounced ‘thirteen eleven fourteen’
For 24/7 crisis support or suicide prevention services, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 text, 0477 13 11 14, chat online
lifeline.org.au/crisis-chat or visit wa.lifeline.org.au