Responding to self-harm, including suicide attempts, in students: a guide to assist secondary schools
Responding to self-harm, including suicide attempts, in students: a guide to assist secondary schools (the Guide) has been developed in partnership with headspace.
The Guide was written to assist schools with secondary school-aged students. The content may not be appropriate for younger students.
If you are in a primary school setting, please be aware that younger children engaging in self-harming or suicidal behaviours may well be experiencing multiple complexities including exposure to adversities or trauma. Responses to this behaviour need to be informed by evidence and schools should seek support from their SSS key contact or another mental health professional and report the incident to ISOC. Parents/carer should also be informed.
Specialist schools are encouraged to seek additional support and guidance from SSS.
Throughout this document the term Koorie is used to refer to both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Use of the terms Aboriginal, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Indigenous are retained in the names of programs and initiatives and, unless noted, are inclusive of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The Guide consists of the following sections:
- When to use this Guide
- Self-harm and suicide related terminology
- Enhancing understanding of mental health, mental ill-health, self-harm and suicide
- Responding to, and managing, an incident of self-harm impacting a school
- Managing internal communication
- Managing external communication
- Documenting and recording
- Recovery activities – supporting students beyond an incident
- Self-care for school staff following an incident of self-harm or suicide
- Early intervention and prevention activities
- Glossary of key Department terms
To view this guidance in PDF format, refer to the Resources tab.
Reviewed 14 October 2021