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StandBy Response Service – Across Australia

The StandBy Response Service is a 24 hour community based active suicide postvention program developed by United Synergies Ltd in Tewantin, Queensland.  United Synergies supports partner agencies implementing the StandBy model within local communities across Australia, in addition United Synergies also provides assistance to external communities and individuals experiecing suicide crises via its critical Community Postvention Response (CPR).  United Synergies has also developed the StandBy for LiFE training program which provides community training in areas of suicide prevention, postvention, traumatic loss and grief.

Currently StandBy is delivered in partnership with the following organisations in these locations (click here)


If you would like to know more about partnering with United Synergies to develop a StandBy Response Service in your community, StandBy for LiFE training or other enquiries about responding to suicide bereavement, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (07) 5442 4277.

Further information can be found on the StandBy Fact Sheet - (View PDF)

 To hear StandBy National Coordinator Jill Fisher's interview with ABC Radio's Richard Fidler (Conversation Hour), go to:


This is not a Crisis Site


If you require urgent help, please contact:

StandBy Response Service

Lifeline Australia 131114 

Kids Help Line 1800551800

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659467

or your local emergency service contact numbers

Submission to Senate Enquiry into Suicide in Australia

To read this Submission please access via this PDF Link (view PDF)



StandBy Response Service - Update July 2011

To read this document, please access via this link (View PDF)


Economic Evaluation of StandBy - Final Report

In 2011 the Science of Knowing and Griffith University were commissioned by United Synergies Ltd and the Department of Health and Ageing to undertake an economic evaluation of the StandBy Response Service, to identify the costs and benefits of operating the program and to determine its overall cost-effectiveness.

This is the first known research investigating the cost-effectiveness of a postvention service and one of only a few economic evaluations of bereavement interventions generally.
The results support the provision of postvention care for people bereaved by suicide and, specifically, the StandBy Response Service.

A copy of the StandBy Economic Evaluation can be viewed here.

Full Report (View PDF)
Summary (View PDF)
Flyer (View PDF)


$6million Expansion of StandBy Program

Suicide bereavement support program expands nationally

Released: 11 September 2012

Suicide is a major cause of mortality in Australia, with more than 2,000 deaths across the country each year. For every death through suicide, there are many people who are significantly affected, including immediate and extended family members, close friends, colleagues and communities. Conservatively this amounts to more than ten thousand people who are bereaved by suicide each year.

The United Synergies national suicide bereavement program, the StandBy Response Service, will provide support in at least six more communities around Australia thanks to a significant Federal Government funding boost announced today, following World Suicide Prevention Day yesterday (11 September 2012).

The StandBy Response Service is a community-based postvention program that provides a coordinated response of support and assistance for people who have been bereaved through suicide. The service provides immediate response to people bereaved through suicide via a 24-hour crisis response telephone number. From there, people can receive face-to-face outreach provided by a skilled crisis response team and/or referral to appropriate support services matched to their need.

The aim of the StandBy Response Service is to reduce potential adverse health outcomes and assist in addressing further suicidal behaviour. It does this by providing an integrated and comprehensive response, working in partnership with existing emergency and community support mechanisms.

The service is currently offered in 10 locations across Australia, and is delivered by United Synergies, in partnership with locally-based agencies such as Lifeline, Anglicare and regional or health service organisations.

United Synergies CEO, Mr Christopher John said the Australian Government funding would be used to develop these new sites across Australia, with negotiations underway to determine the best locations for these sites.

“Determining site locations is always extremely challenging as all communities could benefit from the support StandBy provides. However, from our research, consultation with our partners, the Government and talking to communities, we also know there are some locations where the demand is greater and it is these areas we will be focussing on,” Mr John said.

Through a locally-based coordinator, StandBy provides people with a single point of contact and, using local community services, provides flexible support – from assistance with coronial processes and funeral arrangements, to practical assistance with accommodation and child care, and ongoing professional support.

“As well as the negative emotional and psychological outcomes for individuals and communities that may stem from suicide and suicide bereavement, there are also large economic costs, due to reduced quality of life, lost productivity and increased health care usage,” Mr John said.

In 2011, an economic evaluation of StandBy revealed the Service measurably improved the health and wellbeing of people bereaved by suicide, which in turn reduced the economic burden on the Australian health system. Mr John said the evaluation results overwhelmingly confirmed StandBy was a cost-effective way to support people bereaved by suicide and actually provided a direct cost saving to society of approximately $800 per person per year – even taking into consideration the costs of operating the program.

“The program also has several other important benefits including improved quality of life, improved physical and mental health, increased community capacity and awareness and, perhaps most importantly, a potential reduction in the number of future suicides.”

“The StandBy program really is making a significant difference to how we as a community respond and recover from a suicide tragedy,” Mr John said.

The StandBy Response Service is free of charge to all members of the community due to the funding gratefully provided by the Australian Government under the Taking Action to Tackle Suicide package and existing National Suicide Prevention Program (delivering $292.8 million in funding from 2011-2016) for practical suicide prevention activity.  

United Synergies is a not-for-profit organisation that provides direct services and support to individuals (in particular young people), families and communities, to assist them in achieving their full potential. The organisation has been operating on the Sunshine Coast for 24 years.


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