This morning the Victorian Government announced the launch of the new Hospital Outreach Post-suicidal Engagement (HOPE) service in Shepparton.

HOPE is a follow-up and aftercare service for people who have visited a hospital in crisis or following a suicide attempt. It provides clinical and community-based support to help them build strategies to prevent future suicide attempts.

The 12-week HOPE program is tailored to individuals and their chosen support network. This may include family, friends, carers, community cultural leaders and Elders.

A recent review of six current HOPE sites found that the service was having great results. Consumers, carers and mental health workers all reported positive experiences.

The Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System Interim Report called for a state-wide expansion of HOPE. This will see the service grow from 12 to 21 areas throughout Victoria. The expansion will provide greater rural and regional access to HOPE.

The Shepparton HOPE service, led by Goulburn Valley Health, is the first of these new services to be launched. The service will support up to 250 people from the Greater Shepparton region per year.

The Victorian Budget 2020-21 included $21.4 million in funding to expand the HOPE program across Victoria. It will also fund a new HOPE service for children and young people. This new service will be designed with young consumers and their carers and families.