Year: 2023 Source: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. (2023). 20(4), 3763. SIEC No: 20230656

The risk for future suicidal behaviours is elevated following suicide attempts, particularly for those with complex needs or those who are disconnected from healthcare systems. The PAUSE program was designed to address this gap using peer workers to provide continuity and coordination of care following suicide-related emergency presentations. This study aimed to evaluate the pilot program’s effect on suicidal ideation and hope, and to explore the acceptability and participants’ experiences. A mixed-methods design was employed with pre- and post-evaluation questionnaires, including the GHQ-28-SS (general health questionnaire suicide scale), AHS (adult hope scale), and K10 (Kessler psychological distress scale). Participant engagement rates and semi-structured interviews were used to explore program acceptability. In total, 142 people were engaged with the PAUSE pilot between 24 August 2017 and 11 January 2020. There were no significant gender differences in engagement. The suicidal ideation scores decreased, and the hope scores increased after participation in PAUSE. A thematic analysis revealed that participants identified that the key program mechanisms were holistic and responsive support, ongoing social connectedness, and having peer workers who understood their experiences and treated them like people rather than clients. The small number of participants and lack of a control group limited the result generalizability. The findings suggest that PAUSE was an effective and acceptable model for supporting people following suicide-related hospitalisations in this pilot sample.